Islam: Il est temps de prendre le djihadisme au sérieux (Jihadism is a religious movement before anything else)

4 octobre, 2014
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Je t’ai mis le ceinturon (…) afin qu’on reconnaisse, au levant du soleil comme au couchant: (…) je suis Dieu, il n’y en a pas d’autre, je forme la lumière et je crée les ténèbres, je fais le bien et le mal, moi, Dieu, je fais tout cela. Esaïe (45: 5-7)
C’est ainsi que finit le monde. Pas sur un boum, sur un murmure. T.S. Eliot
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique aspire à l’accomplissement de la promesse de Dieu, quel que soit le temps nécessaire. L’Apôtre de Dieu -que Dieu lui donne bénédiction et paix- a dit : « L’Heure ne viendra pas avant que les musulmans n’aient combattu les Juifs (c’est à dire que les musulmans ne les aient tués), avant que les Juifs ne se fussent cachés derrière les pierres et les arbres et que les pierres et les arbres eussent dit : ‘Musulman, serviteur de Dieu ! Un Juif se cache derrière moi, viens et tue-le. Charte du Hamas (article 7)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique croit que la Palestine est un Waqf islamique consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jugement Dernier. Pas une seule parcelle ne peut en être dilapidée ou abandonnée à d’autres. Aucun pays arabe, président arabe ou roi arabe, ni tous les rois et présidents arabes réunis, ni une organisation même palestinienne n’a le droit de le faire. La Palestine est un Waqf musulman consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Qui peut prétendre avoir le droit de représenter les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier ? Tel est le statut de la terre de Palestine dans la Charia, et il en va de même pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam et devenues terres de Waqf dès leur conquête, pour être consacrées à toutes les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Il en est ainsi depuis que les chefs des armées islamiques ont conquis les terres de Syrie et d’Irak et ont demandé au Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, s’ils devaient partager ces terres entre les soldats ou les laisser à leurs propriétaires. Suite à des consultations et des discussions entre le Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, et les compagnons du Prophète, Allah le bénisse, il fut décidé que la terre soit laissée à ses propriétaires pour qu’ils profitent de ses fruits. Cependant, la propriété véritable et la terre même doit être consacrée aux seuls musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Ceux qui se trouvent sur ces terres peuvent uniquement profiter de ses fruits. Ce waqf persiste tant que le Ciel et la Terre existent. Toute procédure en contradiction avec la Charia islamique en ce qui concerne la Palestine est nulle et non avenue.« C’est la vérité infaillible. Célèbre le nom d’Allah le Très-Haut » (Coran, LVI, 95-96). Charte du Hamas (article 11)
Si vous pouvez tuer un incroyant américain ou européen – en particulier les méchants et sales Français – ou un Australien ou un Canadien, ou tout [...] citoyen des pays qui sont entrés dans une coalition contre l’État islamique, alors comptez sur Allah et tuez-le de n’importe quelle manière. (…) Tuez le mécréant qu’il soit civil ou militaire. (…) Frappez sa tête avec une pierre, égorgez-le avec un couteau, écrasez-le avec votre voiture, jetez-le d’un lieu en hauteur, étranglez-le ou empoisonnez-le. Abou Mohammed al-Adnani (porte-parole de l’EI)
The truth is that there is an obvious, undeniable, and hugely consequential moral difference between Israel and her enemies. The Israelis are surrounded by people who have explicitly genocidal intentions towards them. The charter of Hamas is explicitly genocidal. It looks forward to a time, based on Koranic prophesy, when the earth itself will cry out for Jewish blood, where the trees and the stones will say “O Muslim, there’s a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.” This is a political document. We are talking about a government that was voted into power by a majority of Palestinians. (…) The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking. Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that itshould have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews. And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. And this is something I discussed in The End of Faith. To see this moral difference, you have to ask what each side would do if they had the power to do it. What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children. They could target as many children as they want. Every time a Palestinian child dies, Israel edges ever closer to becoming an international pariah. So the Israelis take great pains not to kill children and other noncombatants. (…)What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. And again, the charter of their government in Gaza explicitly tells us that they want to annihilate the Jews—not just in Israel but everywhere.(…) The truth is that everything you need to know about the moral imbalance between Israel and her enemies can be understood on the topic of human shields. Who uses human shields? Well, Hamas certainly does. They shoot their rockets from residential neighborhoods, from beside schools, and hospitals, and mosques. Muslims in other recent conflicts, in Iraq and elsewhere, have also used human shields. They have laid their rifles on the shoulders of their own children and shot from behind their bodies. Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we’re talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be. It is morally abhorrent to kill noncombatants if you can avoid it. It’s certainly abhorrent to shoot through the bodies of children to get at your adversary. But take a moment to reflect on how contemptible this behavior is. And understand how cynical it is. The Muslims are acting on the assumption—the knowledge, in fact—that the infidels with whom they fight, the very people whom their religion does nothing but vilify, will be deterred by their use of Muslim human shields. They consider the Jews the spawn of apes and pigs—and yet they rely on the fact that they don’t want to kill Muslim noncombatants.(…) Now imagine reversing the roles here. Imagine how fatuous—indeed comical it would be—for the Israelis to attempt to use human shields to deter the Palestinians. (…) But Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit. If you’re going to talk about the conflict in the Middle East, you have to acknowledge this difference. I don’t think there’s any ethical disparity to be found anywhere that is more shocking or consequential than this. And the truth is, this isn’t even the worst that jihadists do. Hamas is practically a moderate organization, compared to other jihadist groups. There are Muslims who have blown themselves up in crowds of children—again, Muslim children—just to get at the American soldiers who were handing out candy to them. They have committed suicide bombings, only to send another bomber to the hospital to await the casualities—where they then blow up all the injured along with the doctors and nurses trying to save their lives. Every day that you could read about an Israeli rocket gone astray or Israeli soldiers beating up an innocent teenager, you could have read about ISIS in Iraq crucifying people on the side of the road, Christians and Muslims. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world and on the Left over these crimes? Where are the demonstrations, 10,000 or 100,000 deep, in the capitals of Europe against ISIS?  If Israel kills a dozen Palestinians by accident, the entire Muslim world is inflamed. God forbid you burn a Koran, or write a novel vaguely critical of the faith. And yet Muslims can destroy their own societies—and seek to destroy the West—and you don’t hear a peep. (…) These incompatible religious attachments to this land have made it impossible for Muslims and Jews to negotiate like rational human beings, and they have made it impossible for them to live in peace. But the onus is still more on the side of the Muslims here. Even on their worst day, the Israelis act with greater care and compassion and self-criticism than Muslim combatants have anywhere, ever. And again, you have to ask yourself, what do these groups want? What would they accomplish if they could accomplish anything? What would the Israelis do if they could do what they want? They would live in peace with their neighbors, if they had neighbors who would live in peace with them. They would simply continue to build out their high tech sector and thrive. (…) What do groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and even Hamas want? They want to impose their religious views on the rest of humanity. They want stifle every freedom that decent, educated, secular people care about. This is not a trivial difference. And yet judging from the level of condemnation that Israel now receives, you would think the difference ran the other way. This kind of confusion puts all of us in danger. This is the great story of our time. For the rest of our lives, and the lives of our children, we are going to be confronted by people who don’t want to live peacefully in a secular, pluralistic world, because they are desperate to get to Paradise, and they are willing to destroy the very possibility of human happiness along the way. The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet. Sam Harris
Les Etats-Unis sont consternés par le bombardement honteux d’une école de l’UNRWA (l’agence de l’ONU pour l’aide aux réfugiés palestiniens) à Rafah.  Nous insistons une nouvelle fois sur le fait qu’Israël doit faire plus pour respecter ses propres standards et éviter les victimes civiles. Le fait de suspecter que des activistes opèrent non loin des écoles ne justifie pas des frappes qui mettent en péril la vie de tant de civils innocents. Jennifer Psaki (porte-parole du Département d’Etat)
The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq. A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23. The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft. But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week. Yahoo news
Last year the Obama administration issued, with considerable fanfare, a new military policy designed to reduce civilian casualties when U.S. forces are attacking enemy targets. This policy required « near certainty » that there will be no civilian casualties before an air attack is permitted. When Israel acted in self-defense this summer against Hamas rocket and tunnel attacks, the Obama administration criticized the Israeli army for « not doing enough » to reduce civilian casualties. When pressed about what more Israel could do—especially when Hamas fired its rockets and dug its terror tunnels in densely populated areas, deliberately using humans as shields—the Obama administration declined to provide specifics. Now the Obama administration has exempted itself from its own « near certainty » standard in its attacks against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In a statement on Sept. 30 responding to questions by Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News, the administration said that in fighting Islamic State, also known as ISIS, the U.S. military can no longer comply with Mr. Obama’s vow last year to observe « the highest standard we can meet. » The statement came after a Tomahawk missile last week struck the village Kafr Daryan in Syria, reportedly killing and injuring numerous civilians including children and women. The missile was directed at al Qaeda terrorists that the White House calls the Khorasan Group, but apparently the Tomahawk hit a home for displaced civilians. The Pentagon says it is investigating the incident, but YouTube video of injured children and the appearance by angry Free Syria Army rebel commanders at a congressional hearing about the attack—an attack that prompted protests in several Syrian villages—left little doubt about what happened. If this sounds familiar, it is because in every attack on terrorists who operate from civilian areas, there will be civilian casualties. This is especially so when terrorists employ a policy of hiding behind civilian human shields in order to confront their enemies with a terrible choice: not attack a legitimate military target; or attack it and likely cause civilian casualties, which the terrorists can then exploit in the war of public opinion. Hamas has employed this approach effectively in its periodic wars against Israel. (…) Now ISIS and other jihadists in Iraq and Syria are beginning to emulate the Hamas strategy, embedding fighters in towns and villages, thus making military strikes difficult without risking civilian casualties. That is why the Obama administration has exempted itself from its theoretical « near certainty » policy, which has proved to be unworkable and unrealistic in actual battle conditions involving human shields and enemy fighters embedded in densely populated areas. (…) The decision of the Obama administration to abandon its unrealistic « highest standard » pledge indicates the urgent need to revisit anachronistic rules with which no nation can actually comply, but against which only one nation—Israel—is repeatedly judged. Alan M. Dershowitz
La condition préalable à tout dialogue est que chacun soit honnête avec sa tradition. (…) les chrétiens ont repris tel quel le corpus de la Bible hébraïque. Saint Paul parle de  » greffe » du christianisme sur le judaïsme, ce qui est une façon de ne pas nier celui-ci . (…) Dans l’islam, le corpus biblique est, au contraire, totalement remanié pour lui faire dire tout autre chose que son sens initial (…) La récupération sous forme de torsion ne respecte pas le texte originel sur lequel, malgré tout, le Coran s’appuie. René Girard
Dans la foi musulmane, il y a un aspect simple, brut, pratique qui a facilité sa diffusion et transformé la vie d’un grand nombre de peuples à l’état tribal en les ouvrant au monothéisme juif modifié par le christianisme. Mais il lui manque l’essentiel du christianisme : la croix. Comme le christianisme, l’islam réhabilite la victime innocente, mais il le fait de manière guerrière. La croix, c’est le contraire, c’est la fin des mythes violents et archaïques. René Girard
Le conflit avec les musulmans est bien plus considérable que ce que croient les fondamentalistes. Les fondamentalistes pensent que l’apocalypse est la violence de Dieu. Alors qu’en lisant les chapitres apocalyptiques, on voit que l’apocalypse est la violence de l’homme déchaînée par la destruction des puissants, c’est-à-dire des États, comme nous le voyons en ce moment. Lorsque les puissances seront vaincues, la violence deviendra telle que la fin arrivera. Si l’on suit les chapitres apocalyptiques, c’est bien cela qu’ils annoncent. Il y aura des révolutions et des guerres. Les États s’élèveront contre les États, les nations contre les nations. Cela reflète la violence. Voilà le pouvoir anarchique que nous avons maintenant, avec des forces capables de détruire le monde entier. On peut donc voir l’apparition de l’apocalypse d’une manière qui n’était pas possible auparavant. Au début du christianisme, l’apocalypse semblait magique : le monde va finir ; nous irons tous au paradis, et tout sera sauvé ! L’erreur des premiers chrétiens était de croire que l’apocalypse était toute proche. Les premiers textes chronologiques chrétiens sont les Lettres aux Thessaloniciens qui répondent à la question : pourquoi le monde continue-t-il alors qu’on en a annoncé la fin ? Paul dit qu’il y a quelque chose qui retient les pouvoirs, le katochos (quelque chose qui retient). L’interprétation la plus commune est qu’il s’agit de l’Empire romain. La crucifixion n’a pas encore dissout tout l’ordre. Si l’on consulte les chapitres du christianisme, ils décrivent quelque chose comme le chaos actuel, qui n’était pas présent au début de l’Empire romain. (..) le monde actuel (…) confirme vraiment toutes les prédictions. On voit l’apocalypse s’étendre tous les jours : le pouvoir de détruire le monde, les armes de plus en plus fatales, et autres menaces qui se multiplient sous nos yeux. Nous croyons toujours que tous ces problèmes sont gérables par l’homme mais, dans une vision d’ensemble, c’est impossible. Ils ont une valeur quasi surnaturelle. Comme les fondamentalistes, beaucoup de lecteurs de l’Évangile reconnaissent la situation mondiale dans ces chapitres apocalyptiques. Mais les fondamentalistes croient que la violence ultime vient de Dieu, alors ils ne voient pas vraiment le rapport avec la situation actuelle – le rapport religieux. Cela montre combien ils sont peu chrétiens. La violence humaine, qui menace aujourd’hui le monde, est plus conforme au thème apocalyptique de l’Évangile qu’ils ne le pensent. (…) La lutte se trouve entre le christianisme et l’islam, plus qu’entre l’islam et l’humanisme. Avec l’islam je pense que l’opposition est totale. Dans l’islam, si l’on est violent, on est inévitablement l’instrument de Dieu. Cela veut donc dire que la violence apocalyptique vient de Dieu. Aux États-Unis, les fondamentalistes disent cela, mais les grandes églises ne le disent pas. Néanmoins, ils ne poussent pas suffisamment leur pensée pour dire que si la violence ne vient pas de Dieu, elle vient de l’homme, et que nous en sommes responsables. René Girard
Ceux qui affirment que Mahomet était pacifiste sont des menteurs et des incultes. Il a usé de la violence et l’a prêchée. Mohammed Bouyeri (assassin de Theo Van Gogh, 2 février 2006)
Dire que l’islamisme n’est pas l’islam, qu’il n’a rien à voir avec l’islam, est faux. Pour le musulman d’hier et d’aujourd’hui il n’y a qu’un seul Coran comme il n’y a qu’un seul prophète. (…) Entre l’islam et l’islamisme, il n’y a pas de différence de nature mais de degré. L’islamisme est présent dans l’islam comme le poussin l’est dans l’oeuf. Il n’y a pas de bon ou mauvais islam, pas plus qu’il n’y a d’islam modéré. En revanche il y a des musulmans modérés, ceux qui n’appliquent que partiellement l’islam. Anne-Marie Delcambre
Il est ironique et décourageant que beaucoup d’intellectuels occidentaux non-musulmans – qui prétendent sans cesse qu’ils soutiennent les droits de la personne – sont devenus des obstacles à la reforme de l’islam. Le politiquement correct parmi les Occidentaux empêche la critique non ambiguë de l’inhumanité de la charia. Ils trouvent des excuses socio-économiques ou politiques pour le terrorisme islamiste tels que la pauvreté, le colonialisme, la discrimination ou l’existence d’Israël. Quelle incitation peut-il y avoir pour que les musulmans exigent la réforme de leur religion quand les “progressistes” occidentaux préparent le terrain pour la barbarie islamiste? Tawfik Hamid
Beaucoup, violents ou pas, sont abreuvés par des sites qui montrent l’ennemi « croisé » ou « sioniste » dans son horreur destructrice, « tueur d’enfants et de civils »… Mais le point crucial est le retour qu’on leur fait faire au texte fondateur, au Coran, où les « gens du Livre », juifs et chrétiens, représentés aujourd’hui par l’Amérique, Israël et un peu l’Europe, sont qualifiés de pervers, faussaires, injustes, traîtres, etc. Certains leur citent des versets plus calmes, comme « Point de contrainte en religion », ou comme « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré », mais c’est qu’ils vont voir de près dans le texte, ils vérifient et ils trouvent : « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré sauf pour une cause juste. » Quant au verset du libre choix, ils le voient encadré de violentes malédictions contre ceux qui font le mauvais choix. En somme, on manque cruellement d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam ; et pour cause, ils sont recouverts d’un tabou, et toute remarque critique les concernant passe pour islamophobe dans le discours conformiste organisé, qui revient à imposer aux musulmans le même tabou, à les enfermer dans le cadre identitaire dont on décide qu’il doit être le leur (on voit même des juges de la République se référer au Coran pour arrêter leur décision…). Il y a donc un secret de Polichinelle sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam envers les autres, violence qui, en fait, n’a rien d’extraordinaire : toute identité qui se fonde est prodigue en propos violents envers les autres. Mais, avec le tabou et le conformisme imposés, cette violence reste indiscutée et semble indépassable. Récemment, dans Islam, phobie, culpabilité (Odile Jacob, 2013), j’ai posé ce problème avec sérénité, en montrant que les djihadistes, les extrémistes, sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran, portés par elle plutôt qu’ils ne la portent ; ils se shootent à cette vérité de la vindicte envers les autres, et même envers des musulmans, qu’il faut rappeler au droit chemin. Le livre est lu et circule bien, mais dans les médias officiels il a fait l’objet d’une vraie censure, celle-là même qu’il analyse, qui se trouve ainsi confirmée. Raconter ses méandres, ce serait décrire l’autocensure où nous vivons, où la peur pour la place est la phobie suprême : une réalité se juge d’après les risques qu’elle vous ferait courir ou les appuis qu’elle lui apporte. (…) La difficulté, c’est qu’un texte fondateur est comme un être vivant : dès qu’il se sent un peu lâché par les siens, il suscite des êtres « héroïques », des martyrs pour faire éclater sa vérité. Quitte à éclater le corps des autres. D’autres approches de cette « vérité » exigeraient un peu de courage de la part des élites, qui sont plutôt dans le déni. Pour elles, il n’y a pas de problème de fond, il y a quelques excités qui perdent la tête. Il ne faut pas dire que leur acte serait lié au Coran, si peu que ce soit. Le problème est bien voilé derrière des citations tronquées, des traductions édulcorées, témoignant, au fond, d’un mépris pour le Coran et ses fidèles. On a donc un symptôme cliniquement intéressant : quand un problème se pose et qu’il est interdit d’en parler, un nouveau problème se pose, celui de cet interdit. Puis un troisième : comment zigzaguer entre les deux ? Cela augmente le taux de poses « faux culs » très au-delà du raisonnable. Daniel Sibony
We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians – most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”? History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life. Paul E. Marek
Le fondamentalisme religieux (…) trouve son origine dans un mouvement de réveil protestant du début du XXe siècle aux États-Unis qui propage un retour aux « fondements » de la foi chrétienne au moyen d’un strict respect et d’une interprétation littérale des lois de la Bible. Un grand nombre d’études sur l’intégrisme religieux chrétien protestant aux Etats-Unis ont montré qu’il est fermement et constamment associé aux préjugés et à l’hostilité contre les minorités raciales et religieuses, ainsi que les groupes « déviants » tels que les homosexuels. En revanche, notre connaissance de l’étendue à laquelle des minorités musulmanes dans les pays occidentaux adhèrent à des interprétations de l’Islam fondamentalistes est étonnamment limité. Plusieurs études ont montré que, par rapport à la majorité de la population, les immigrés musulmans se définissent plus souvent comme religieux, s’identifient fortement à leur religion et participent plus souvent à des pratiques religieuses telles que prier, aller à la mosquée ou suivre des préceptes religieux tels que la nourriture halal ou le port du foulard. Mais la religiosité comme telle dit peu de choses sur la mesure dans laquelle ces croyances et pratiques religieuses peuvent être considérées comme « fondamentalistes » et sont associées à l’hostilité à l’exogroupe. (…) Comme les profils démographiques et socioéconomiques des immigrés musulmans et les chrétiens indigènes divergent fortement et puisqu’il est connu de la littérature que les individus marginalisés des classes inférieures sont plus fortement attirés par les mouvements fondamentalistes, il serait bien sûr possible que ces différences soient dues à la classe plutôt qu’à la religion. Cependant, les résultats de la régression tenant compte de l’éducation, situation du marché du travail, âge, sexe et état matrimonial des analyses révèlent que si certaines de ces variables expliquent la variation dans le fondamentalisme dans les deux groupes religieux, elles n’expliquent pas du tout ou même diminuent la différence entre musulmans et chrétiens. Une source d’inquiétude est que tandis que parmi les chrétiens l’intégrisme religieux est beaucoup moins répandu chez les personnes plus jeunes, les attitudes fondamentalistes sont aussi répandues chez les jeunes que chez les musulmans âgés. (…) Près de 60 % d’entre eux rejettent les homosexuels comme amis et 45 pour cent pense que les Juifs ne sont pas fiables. Alors qu’environ une personne sur cinq parmi les nationaux peuvent être qualifiées d’islamophobes, le niveau de phobie contre l’Occident parmi les musulmans – pour laquelle curieusement il y a aucun mot ; On pourrait dire « Occidentophobie » – est beaucoup plus élevé encore, 54 pour cent pensent que l’Occident cherche à détruire l’Islam. Ces conclusions sont en parfaite concordance avec le fait que, comme une étude de 2006 de l’Institut de recherche Pew l’a montré, près de la moitié des musulmans vivant en France, Allemagne et Royaume Uni croient en la théorie du complot selon laquelle les attentats du 11 septembre n’ont pas perpétrés par des musulmans, mais ont été orchestrés par l’Occident ou les Juifs. (…) Ces résultats contredisent clairement l’affirmation souvent entendue que le fondamentalisme religieux islamique est un phénomène marginal en Europe occidentale ou qu’il ne diffère pas du taux de fondamentalisme de la majorité chrétienne. Les deux affirmations sont manifestement fausses, comme près de la moitié des musulmans européens conviennent que les musulmans doivent retourner aux racines de l’Islam, qu’il n’y a qu’une seule interprétation du Coran et que les règles fixées par celui-ci sont plus importantes que lois laïques. Parmi les chrétiens de souche, mois d’un sur cinq peut être qualifié d’intégristes dans ce sens. (…) A la fois l’étendue de l’intégrisme religieux islamique et ses corrélats – l’homophobie, l’antisémitisme et « l’Occidentophobie » – devraient être de sérieux motifs de préoccupation pour les responsables politiques ainsi que les dirigeants de la communauté musulmane. Bien sûr, l’intégrisme religieux ne saurait être assimilée à la volonté de soutenir ou même de s’engager dans la violence religieusement motivée. Mais compte tenu de ses liens étroits avec l’hostilité à l’exogroupe, l’intégrisme religieux est très susceptible de fournir un terreau pour la radicalisation. Ruud Koopmans (WZB, Berlin Social Science Center, 2013)
Les guerres mondiales du XXe siècle sont considérées historiquement comme des guerres laïques centrées sur des intérêts politiques, géographiques et économiques. Pourtant, en Europe, 6 millions de Juifs ont été exterminés à la suite de siècles d’enseignement antisémite au cœur de la chrétienté médiévale. Depuis l’époque de Mahomet et pendant près de treize cents ans après, l’Islam a mené des guerres de religion contre des populations entières, forçant la conversion à l’Islam (à l’exclusion des Juifs et des chrétiens, connus comme « peuple du livre ») comme moyen de propager sa foi. (…) Le conflit israélo-arabe, même si apparemment centré sur  un territoire, contient une puissante composante religieuse, en particulier autour de Jérusalem, dont des milliers ont été tués et beaucoup plus pourraient mourir si elle n’est pas résolu pacifiquement. Dans tous les cas, les convictions religieuses, qui a été appelée à plusieurs reprises, a amplifié un sens du droit aux terres et la richesse des autres. Cela pose la question : de quoi est vraiment fait la religion  ? (…) Bien que techniquement, moins de 10 % de toutes les guerres jamais combattu étaient des guerres de religion, seuls quelques-uns n’a pas englober ou incarnent une composante religieuse ou le sentiment. De la même façon que nous soutenons les enseignements éthiques des religions, nous doit autant et à l’unisson condamner messagers autoproclamés et porte-parole du divin que fomenter des massacres au nom de Dieu. Car à moins que nous croyons que ce tout-Miséricordieux, paternel, épris de paix et jamais salutaire de Dieu veut pour ses fidèles s’entre-tuer en son nom, Nous devons conclure que les religions sont endommagées à plusieurs reprises pour opposer entre eux les enfants de Dieu. (…) Cela ne veut ne pas dire que l’approche intellectuelle a toutes les réponses, ne l’oublions rappel d’Einstein concernant les limites éthiques de la science. Car alors que l’Occident paie tout naturellement une grande attention à l’assassinat actuel au nom de Dieu dans certains États arabes, les nombres impliqués ne sont pas comparent à la 50 millions ou plus abattus dans la seconde guerre mondiale seule pour la plupart des chrétiens contre les chrétiens. Intellectuellement bent sociétés occidentales peuvent introduire la « civilité » de la guerre, avec les Conventions de Genève et autres règles par lesquelles le sang peut être versé. Mais leurs guerres, à ce jour, englobent une puissance destructive beaucoup plus grande que ne le font les conflits des autres peuples, notamment dans le conflit actuel des musulmans contre les musulmans au Moyen-Orient. Comprendre la violence dans le contexte plus large, l’Occident peut à certains égards être réellement plu éloignée de la réalisation de cet objectif. Alors que les péages de la mort de soldats sont faciles à diffuser, le quotidien de souffrance de millions de luxé, déshonoré et apatrides vies ne pas aussi facilement s’insère dans notre alimentation de nouvelles. L’Occident ne vit pas dans le cadre de l’histoire. Alon Ben-Meir
Quand on pense aux crimes de masse, le premier nom qui vient à l’esprit est celui d’Hitler. Ou alors Tojo, Staline ou Mao. Les totalitarismes du XXe siècle sont considérés comme la pire espèce de tyrannie de l’histoire. Cependant, la vérité alarmante est que l’Islam a tué plus que n’importe lequel d’entre eux et peut tous les dépasser combinés en nombre et en cruauté. L’énormité des massacres perpétrés par la « religion de paix » sont dépassent tellement la compréhension que les historiens même honnêtes n’en remarquent même plus l’échelle. Si l’on va un peu au-delà de notre vision tronquée des choses, on verra que l’Islam est la plus grande machine à tuer de l’histoire de l’humanité, sans aucune exception. (…) Si l’on additionne tout ça. Les victimes africaines. Les victimes indiennes. Les victimes européennes. Le génocide arménien. Puis le nombre moins connu mais sans doute assez grand de victimes de l’Asie orientale. Le djihad commis par les musulmans contre la Chine, qui a été envahie en 651. Les prédations du khanat de Crimée sur les Slaves, en particulier leurs femmes. Bien que les chiffres ne soient pas claires, ce qui est évident c’est que l’Islam est la plus grande machine de meurtre dans l’histoire sans aucune exception, ayant causé la mort de peut-être plus de 250 millions de personnes. Mike Konrad
Le problème que le révérend Schall fait ressortir dans sa tribune, c’est que nous ici en Occident et très certainement cette administration Obama, tentons de rationaliser et de nous débarrasser du problème. Nous ne parvenons pas à tout simplement accepter ce qui se passe, comme par le passé, sous nos yeux. Certes, il n’est pas question de condamner les musulmans. En revanche, il s’agit bien de dénoncer une idéologie politique théocratique impérialiste et totalitaire — ce n’est pas la violence au travail, les gars. Nous entendons toujours parler de « croisades » et pourtant personne ne veut parler de la manière dont l’Islam a cherché à se répandre, certainement pas par le prosélytisme pacifique — de l’ Afrique du Nord à l’Espagne (Al Andalusia) à la France (bataille de Poitiers) à la Méditerranée (bataille de Lépante) à Constantinople (Istanbul) dans les Balkans à Vienne en Inde hindoue de  la Chine aux Philippines et aujourd’hui à Fort Hood au Texas et Moore en Oklahoma. Et pourtant nous avons des gens comme le directeur de la CIA John Brennan qui nous donne une définition éduclcorée du djihad ou B. Hussein Obama nous disant qu’EIIL n’est pas islamique. Allen West
Oecuménisme comme libéralisme, chacun à sa façon et à cause de leur attachement à la tolérance et la liberté d’expression, rendent difficile de rendre compte de ce qui se passe dans les États islamiques. (…) Les preuves ne manquent pas, tant dans la longue histoire de l’expansion militaire musulmane initiale que dans son interprétation théorique du Coran lui-même, pour montrer que l’État islamique et ses sympathisants ont fondamentalement raison. Le but de l’Islam, avec les moyens souvent violents qu’il utilise pour l’accomplir, est d’étendre son pouvoir, au nom d’Allah, au monde entier. Le monde ne peut pas être en « paix » tant qu’il n’est pas tout entier musulman. (…) Le jihadisme, si l’on peut l’appeler ainsi, est d’abord et avant tout un mouvement religieux. Allah accorde à la violence une place importante. C’est sur la vérité de cette position, ou mieux l’incapacité de la réfuter, que réside la véritable controverse. Un essai récent sur American thinker a calculé qu’au cours des années de son expansion, depuis ses débuts dans les VIIe et VIIe siècles, quelque 250 millions de personnes ont été tuées dans des guerres et des persécutions causées par l’islam. Rien d’autre dans l’histoire du monde, y compris les totalitarismes du siècle dernier, n’a été aussi meutrier. (…) Il est possible pour certains de lire l’Islam comme une religion de « paix ». Mais sa « paix », selon ses propres termes, signifie la paix d’Allah sur son territoire. Avec le reste du monde extérieur, elle est en guerre pour accomplir un but religieux, à savoir, que l’ensemble soumis à Allah dans la voie passive que spécifie le Coran. (…) Présenter les djihadistes et les dirigeants de l’Etat islamique comme de simples « terroristes » ou des voyous revient à utiliser des termes politiques occidentaux et ne peut que nous aveugler sur le dynamisme religieux de ce mouvement. (…) Les racines de l’Islam sont théologiques, une plutôt mauvaise théologie, mais toujours cohérente au sein de sa propre orbite et ses présupposés. Bref, l’Islam, dans sa fondation, est censé être, littéralement, la religion du monde. Rien d’autre n’a d’existence à côté. Il s’agit d’amener le monde entier à adorer Allah selon les canons du Coran. (…) Dans la doctrine musulmane, toute personne née dans le monde est musulmane. Personne n’a quelque droit ou raison de ne pas l’être. Par conséquent, tout individu  qui n’est pas musulman doit être converti ou éliminé. Ceci est également vrai de toute œuvre littéraire, monumentale, et d’autres marques de civilisation ou d’États qui ne sont pas musulmans. Ils sont voués à la destruction comme non autorisés par le Coran. C’est la responsabilité religieuse de l’Islam pour accomplir sa mission assignée de soumettre le monde à Allah. Lorsque nous essayons d’expliquer cette religion en termes économiques, politiques, psychologiques ou autres, nous ne voyons tout simplement pas ce qui se passe. De l’extérieur, il est presque impossible de voir comment ce système coïncide en lui-même. Mais, une fois acceptés ses prémisses et la philosophie du volontarisme qui permet de l’expliquer et de le défendre, il devient beaucoup plus clair qu’il s’agit en fait d’une religion qui prétend être vraie en insistant sur le fait qu’elle  réalise la volonté d’Allah, pas la sienne.(…) Si Allah transcende la distinction du bien et du mal, s’il peut vouloir ce qui sera son contraire demain, comme la toute-puissance d’Allah est comprise dans l’islam, il ne peut y avoir de discussion réelle qui ne soit autre chose qu’une trêve temporaire et pragmatique, un équilibre des intérêts et des pouvoirs. Chaque fois qu’on observe des incidents violents dans le monde islamique ou dans d’autres parties du monde causées par des agents islamiques, on les uns ou les autres se plaindre que presque aucune voix musulmane ne prend la parole pour condamner cette violence. Lorsqu’à l’origine le 9/11 s’est produit, il n’a pas été l’objet de condamnations mais de célébrations de l’intérieur du monde islamique. L’Islam a été considéré comme gagnant. Mais tous les érudits musulmans savent qu’ils ne peuvent pas, sur la base du Coran, condamner le recours à la violence pour l’expansion de leur religion. Il y a tout simplement trop de preuves que cet usage est autorisé. Le nier reviendrait à saper l’intégrité du Coran. De toute évidence, les ennemis de l’État islamique et ses alliés djihadistes sont non seulement les « croisés » ou l’Occident. Certains des guerres les plus sanglantes de l’Islam ont été son invasion de l’Inde hindoue où la tension reste marquée. Il y a aussi les efforts de musulmans en Chine. Les Philippines ont un problème majeur, comme la Russie. Mais l’Islam se bat aussi avec lui-même. Les luttes sunnites/chiites sont légendaires. Il est important de noter qu’une des premières choses de l’ordre du jour de l’État islamique, s’il réussit à survivre, est d’unir tout l’Islam dans son unité de foi. (…) Il y a ou y a eu des chrétiens et autres minorités au sein de ces États qui sont plus ou moins tolérés. Mais ils sont tous, comme les non-musulmans, traités comme des citoyens de seconde zone. Le mouvement islamique renouvelle ce côté puriste de l’islam qui insiste pour éradiquer ou expulser les non-musulmans des terres musulmanes. L’archevêque de Mossoul, en voyant son peuple exilé et tué et obligé de choisir entre la conversion et la mort, a révélé que ses bâtiments étaient détruits, avec les archives et toutes les traces de la longue présence chrétienne dans cette région. Il a averti que c’était la forme de traitement à laquelle devaient s’attendre tôt ou tard les nations occidentales. Il y a maintenant d’importantes et préoccupantes  enclaves musulmanes dans toutes les régions d’Europe et d’Amérique comme centres de soulèvements futurs au sein de chaque ville. Il y a maintenant des milliers de mosquées en Europe et en Amérique, financées en grande partie par l’argent du pétrole, qui font partie d’une enclave privée qui exclut le droit local et applique la loi musulmane. Pourtant, nous pouvons nous demander : cet État islamique n’est-il pas après tout qu’une chimère ? Aucun État islamique n’a de possibilité sérieuse de vaincre les armées modernes. Mais, ironie du sort, ils ne pensent plus que des armées modernes seront nécessaires. Ils sont convaincus que l’utilisation généralisée du terrorisme et d’autres moyens de désordre civil peuvent réussir. Personne n’a vraiment la volonté ou les moyens de contrôler les forces destructrices que l’État islamique a déjà mis en place. (…) Enfin, l’affaire de l’État islamique et des djihadistes n’est pas seulement une menace découlant de la mission de l’Islam pour conquérir le monde pour Allah. C’est aussi une affaire de morale, rappelant que la vie en Occident est sas Dieu et décadente. Elle ne mérite pas sa prospérité et sa position. La mission de l’humanité est la soumission à Allah en toutes choses. Une fois que cette soumission est assurée, le domaine de la guerre sera aboli. Plus de décapitations ou d’attentats à la voiture piégée ne seront nécessaires ou tolérés. Aucune dissidence au sein de l’Islam ne sera possible ou permise. Tous seront en paix sous la Loi de l’islam. C’est là le but même de l’État islamique. C’est une folie d’y penser en n’importe quels autres termes. Révérend James V. Schall (traduction au babelfish)

Attention: un djihadisme peut en cacher un autre !

Alors qu’une étude récente montre la surintolérance (à 45% pour l’application de la charia en Europe et à 55% antisémites) de musulmans européens si sensibles il y a quelques mois à la souffrance des gazaouis mais étrangement silencieux face aux actuelles exactions djihadistes …

Et qu’avec la multiplication, par lesdists jihadistes, des selfies sanglants et des appels à égorger nos fils et nos compagnes, les premières têtes de ce côté comme de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique commencent à tomber …

Pendant qu’accusé à son tour du même type de bavures pour lesquelles il avait si promptement dénoncé Israël pour une guerre qu’il se refuse même à dénommer, s’exempte tranquillement des critères d’élimination des terroristes utilisant des boucliers humains …

Comment ne pas voir, avec l’excellent papier du politologue catholique James V. Schall, qu’il est grand temps de prendre le djihadisme au sérieux

Et de prendre enfin conscience, au-delà de nos préventions oecuméniques ou progressistes et de Mosoul à Gaza ou de Londres à Paris ou Berlin, de la réalité proprement religieuse et théologiquement fondée de ses revendications …

Et partant la difficulté toute particulière face à des groupes pour lesquels il ne saurait y avoir de paix dans le monde…

Tant que ledit monde ne s’est pas, de gré ou de force, soumis à l’islam ?

It’s Time to Take the Islamic State Seriously
Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.
Crisis
September 23, 2014

Islam has no central or definitive body or figure authorized to define what exactly it is. Opinions about its essence and scope vary widely according to the political or philosophic background of its own interpreters. The current effort to establish an Islamic State, with a designated Caliph, again to take up the mission assigned to Islam, brings to our attention the question: “What is Islam?”

The issue of “terror” is a further aspect of this same understanding. Many outside Islam seek to separate “terror” and “Islam” as if they were, in their usage, independent or even opposed ideas. This latter view is almost impossible seriously to maintain in the light of Islamic history and the text of the Qur’an itself.

John Kerry, however, insists that what we see is “terrorism” with nothing to do with Islam. The Obama administration seems to have a rule never to identify Islam with “terrorism,” no matter what the evidence or what representatives of the Islamic State themselves say. The vice-president speaks of “Hell” in connection with actions of the Islamic State. Diane Feinstein speaks of “evil” behind the current slaughters in Iraq and Syria. The pope mentions “stopping aggression.” The English hate-laws prevent frank and honest discussion of what actually goes on in Islamic countries or communities in the West. Not even Winston Churchill’s critical view of Islam is permitted to be read in public.

Ecumenism and liberalism both, in their differing ways, because of their commitment to tolerance and free speech, make it difficult to deal with what is happening in Islamic states. Islam is not friendly to relativism or to subtle distinctions.

Is terror intrinsic to Islam?
What I want to propose here is an opinion. An opinion is a position that sees the plausibility but not certainty of a given proposition. But I think this opinion is well-grounded and makes more sense both of historic and of present Islam than most of the other views that are prevalent. I do not conceive this reflection as definitive. Nor do I document it in any formal sense, though it can be. It is a view that, paradoxically, has, I think, more respect for Islam than most of its current critics or advocates.

This comment is an apologia, as it were, for the Islamic State at least in the sense that it accepts its sincerity and religious purpose. It understands how, in its own terms, the philosophic background that enhances its view does, in its own terms, justify its actions, including the violent ones.

The Islamic State and the broader jihadist movements throughout the world that agree with it are, I think, correct in their basic understanding of Islam. Plenty of evidence is found, both in the long history of early Muslim military expansion and in its theoretical interpretation of the Qur’an itself, to conclude that the Islamic State and its sympathizers have it basically right. The purpose of Islam, with the often violent means it can and does use to accomplish it, is to extend its rule, in the name of Allah, to all the world. The world cannot be at “peace” until it is all Muslim. The “terror” we see does not primarily arise from modern totalitarian theories, nationalism, or from anywhere else but what is considered, on objective evidence, to be a faithful reading of a mission assigned by Allah to the Islamic world, which has been itself largely procrastinating about fulfilling its assigned mission.

To look elsewhere for an explanation is simply not to see what the Islamic State and its friends are telling us about why they act as they do. The tendency among pragmatic Western thinkers, locked into their own narrow views, is to exclude any such motivation as an excuse of raw power. This view shows the intellectual shortcomings of Western leaders and the narrowness of much Western thought.

Jihadism, as it were, is a religious movement before it is anything else. Allah does grant violence a significant place. It is over the truth of this position, or better the inability to disprove it, that the real controversy lies. A recent essay in the American Thinker calculated that over the years of its expansion, from its beginning in the seventh and eighth centuries, some 250 million people have been killed in wars and persecutions caused by Islam. Nothing else in the history of the world, including the totalitarianisms of the last century, has been so lethal.

If Islam is a religion of peace, what sort of peace does it bring?
Other understandings of Islam’s record, though not its mission, within Islam may be also plausible, but no more so than this jihadist interpretation. It may be possible for some to read Islam as a religion of “peace.” But its “peace,” in its own terms, means the peace of Allah within its boundaries. With the rest of the outside world, it is at war in order to accomplish a religious purpose, namely, to have all submitted to Allah in the passive way that the Qur’an specifies.

Islam can at times be defeated or stopped, as at Tours or Vienna, but it will always rise again as it is now bent on so doing. To picture the jihadists and leaders of the Islamic State as mere “terrorists” or thugs is to use Western political terms to blind ourselves to the religious dynamism of this movement. No wonder our leaders cannot or will not understand it. This purpose, when successful, is a terrible thing. But we are not seeing a group of gangsters, as many are wont to maintain. The roots of Islam are theological, rather bad theology, but still coherent within its own orbit and presuppositions.

Briefly put, Islam, in its founding, is intended to be, literally, the world religion. Nothing else has any standing in comparison. It is to bring the whole world to worship Allah according to the canons of the Qur’an. It is a belief, based on a supposed revelation to Mohammed, of which there is little evidence. Sufficient justification to expand this religion, once founded, to all the world by use of arms is found in the Qur’an and in its interpreters to explain the violent means used, often successfully, to establish, pacify, and rule tribes, states, territories, and empires.

In Muslim doctrine, everyone born into the world is a Muslim. No one has any right or reason not to be. Hence, everyone who is not a Muslim is to be converted or eliminated. This is also true of the literary, monumental, and other signs of civilizations or states that are not Muslim. They are destroyed as not authorized by the Qur’an.

It is the religious responsibility of Islam to carry out its assigned mission of subduing the world to Allah. When we try to explain this religion in economic, political, psychological, or other terms, we simply fail to see what is going on. From the outside, it is almost impossible to see how this system coheres within itself. But, granted its premises and the philosophy of voluntarism used to explain and defend it, it becomes much clearer that we are in fact dealing with a religion that claims to be true in insisting that it is carrying out the will of Allah, not its own.

If we are going to deal with it, we have to do so on those terms, on the validity of such a claim. The trouble with this approach, of course, is that truth, logos, is not recognized in a voluntarist setting. If Allah transcends the distinction of good and evil, if he can will today its opposite tomorrow, as the omnipotence of Allah is understood to mean in Islam, then there can be no real discussion that is not simply a temporary pragmatic stand-off, a balance of interest and power.

Whenever incidents of violence are witnessed in the Islamic world, or in other parts of the world caused by Islamic agents, we hear complaints that almost no Muslim voices rise to condemn this violence. When the original 9/11 happened, there was not condemnation coming from within Islam, but widespread celebration. Islam was seen as winning. But all Muslim scholars know that they cannot, on the basis of the Qur’an, condemn the use of violence to expand their religion. There is simply too much evidence that this usage is permitted. To deny it would be to undermine the integrity of the Qur’an.

Obviously, the enemies of the Islamic State and its jihadist allies are not only the “Crusaders” or the West. Some of Islam’s bloodiest wars were its invasion of Hindu India, where the tension remains marked. There are also Muslim efforts into China. The Philippines has a major problem as does Russia. But Islam wars with itself. The Sunni/Shiite struggles are legendary. It is important to note that one of the first things on the Islamic State’s agenda, if it is successful in surviving, is to unite all of Islam in its creedal unity.

The unfinished business from Tours and Vienna
All existing Islamic states are some sort of compromise between the true Islamic mission and forces, usually military forces that limit this world-wide unification. Almost all standing Muslim governments recognize the danger to themselves of a successful Caliphate. They all have some form of jihadist presence within their boundaries that seek to control it in the name of their very survival. There are or were Christian and other minorities within these states that are, to a greater or lesser extent, tolerated. But they are all, as non-Muslims, treated as second-class citizens. The Islamic movement renews that purist side of Islam that insists in eradicating or expelling non-Muslim presences in Muslim lands.

The Archbishop of Mosul, on seeing his people exiled and killed, forced to choose between conversion and death, empathized that his buildings were destroyed, the archives and all record of the long Christian presence in that area destroyed. He warned that this form of treatment is what the nations of the West could expect sooner or later. There are now significant Muslim enclaves in every part of America and Europe to be of great concern as centers of future uprisings within each city. There are now thousands of mosques in Europe and America, financed largely by oil money, that are parts of a closed enclave that excludes local law and enforces Muslim law.

Yet, we can ask: is this Islamic State anything more than a pipe-dream? No Islamic state has any serious possibility of defeating modern armies. But, ironically, they no longer think that modern armies will be necessary. They are convinced that widespread use of terrorism and other means of civil disorder can be successful. No one really has the will or the means to control the destructive forces that the Islamic State already has in place.

The Islamic State strategists think it is quite possible to take another step in the expansion of Islam, to take up again the assault on Europe left off at Tours and Vienna. Muslim armies have always been known for cruelty and craftiness. Men often shrank in fear before its threat, as they are intended to do. A Muslim theoretician once remarked that their aim was to make the streets of Western cities look like those battlefields we see in the cities of the Middle East. Again with the suicide bomber and believers in their use, for which they are said to be “martyrs,” this may be possible.

Finally, the case of the Islamic State and of the jihadists is not just a threat arising out of Islam’s mission to conquer the world for Allah. It is also a moral case, that the life of the West is atheist and decadent. It does not deserve its prosperity and position. The mission of mankind is the submission to Allah in all things. Once this submission is in place, the sphere of war will be over. No more beheading or car-bombings will be necessary or tolerated. No dissent within Islam will be possible or permitted. All will be at peace under the law of Islam. This is the religious purpose of the Islamic State. It is folly to think of it in any other terms.

But with great opposition both from the West and from within Islamic states to this vision, is there any possibility of its success? Pat Buchanan thought that a group of Seals one of these days would eliminate the new Caliph. Existing Muslin government officials know that their days are numbered if the Islamic State succeeds. But, at the same time, this vision does seem to be the real impetus of the Islamic peoples.

It is easy to write this movement off as fanatical and ruthless, which it is. To the outside world, it sounds horrific, but I suspect not to those who believe its truth and see the current revival of Islam with relief. The second or third class ranking of Islam in the modern world is over. But to the degree that we misjudge what is motivating the renewal of Islam, we will never understand why it exists as it does.

Editor’s note: This essay first appeared September 17, 2014 on Mercatornet.com and published under a Creative Commons license.

Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., taught political science at Georgetown University for many years. His latest books include The Mind That Is Catholic from Catholic University of America Press; Remembering Belloc from St. Augustine Press; and Reasonable Pleasures from Ignatius Press.

Voir aussi:

55% des Musulmans d’Europe sont fortement antisémites
Jean-Patrick Grumberg
Dreuz.info.
3 octobre 2014

Islam modéré ? « Majorité silencieuse et quiétiste » ? Un leurre total, selon une récente étude scientifique très documentée.

45% des musulmans européens souhaitent la sharia en Europe, 55% sont fortement antisémites, et 85% sont homophobes.

Selon une étude menée par 160 scientifiques allemands dans 6 pays européens sur 9 000 personnes, il s’avère que 45% des musulmans européens souhaitent que la sharia soit appliquée en Europe, 55% sont fortement antisémites, et 85% sont homophobes.

On nous serine à longueur de matraquage médiatique que l’islam est compatible avec les valeurs démocratiques, que les musulmans d’Europe, dans leur écrasante majorité, sont modérés, et qu’ils n’aspirent qu’à une chose, s’intégrer dans la société occidentale.

On nous dit que l’islam jihadiste, qui égorge et commet des attentats, ce n’est pas l’islam.

Mais lorsque quelques centaines (3 à 500, à la sortie de l’office de la mosquée de Paris, donc qui ne pouvaient plus s’en aller !) de musulmans manifestent pour se désolidariser du terrorisme, ce sont les médias eux-mêmes qui font un amalgame, dans l’autre sens cette fois, en affirmant que ces cents là représentent la majorité.

Seriner n’est pas démontrer.

Aucun média n’a eu le courage de mener une enquête afin de prouver que tout cela est autre chose que la méthode d’Émile Coué face au miroir.

Apparemment, les Allemands sont moins frileux, et une étude importante vient d’être conduite par le Centre scientifique et social de Berlin WZB.

Comme le WZB rassemble 160 chercheurs en sciences humaines, que plus de 9 000 personnes ont été interrogées au téléphone en Allemagne, en France, en Hollande, en Autriche, en Belgique et en Suède, que les personnes interrogées sont des immigrants mais aussi des personnes issues de l’immigration nées dans ces pays, et que cette étude est la première qui permet de faire une analyse empirique sur l’impact du fondamentalisme islamique sur la population musulmane européenne, l’enquête a été largement ignorée par les grands médias français.

Selon l’étude, menée je le disais, par 160 scientifiques allemands, 45% des musulmans européens souhaiteraient que la sharia soit appliquée en Europe, 55% ont de forts sentiments antisémites, et 85% sont homophobes. 9 000 personnes interrogées dans six pays, voilà de quoi tirer quelques leçons. Leçon numéro un : les musulmans radicaux sont la majorité, et non une infime minorité

Le fondamentalisme religieux, l’islamisme, n’est pas, en Europe de l’ouest, un phénomène marginal.

Ruud Koopmans membre du WZB Berlin, et auteur du rapport, a analysé les résultats de l’enquête.

65% des musulmans interviewés déclarent que les lois religieuses sont plus importantes pour eux que les lois du pays où ils vivent ;

75% affirment qu’il n’existe qu’une seule interprétation légitime du coran, et que tout musulman doit s’y conformer ;

60% considèrent que les musulmans doivent revenir aux racines de l’islam ;

Leçon numéro deux : le fondamentalisme génère l’antisémitisme et l’homophobie

Cette tendance, selon Koopmans, est alarmante : “le fondamentalisme n’est pas une forme innocente de strict respect religieux. Il existe une forte corrélation entre le fondamentalisme et l’hostilité contre des groupes comme les homosexuels et les juifs.”

Presque 60% des musulmans déclarent qu’ils refusent d’être amis avec des homosexuels ;

45% pensent qu’on ne peut pas faire confiance aux juifs ;

45% pensent que l’occident veut détruire l’islam [ah s’ils disaient vrai].

Leçon numéro trois : le fondamentalisme n’est pas le résultat de l’islamophobie et du rejet

Contrairement à l’idée que le fondamentalisme est une réaction à l’islamophobie, à l’exclusion et au rejet de la société, l’étude démontre que les musulmans les moins radicaux sont allemands, alors que c’est le pays où ils jouissent du moins de liberté religieuse des six pays examinés. Mais qu’on ne se laisse pas tromper par le constat précédent : même en Allemagne, 30% des répondants entrent dans la catégorie des fondamentalistes, d’après l’étude.

Leçon numéro quatre : les Chrétiens fondamentalistes, eux, sont ultra minoritaires

Les Chrétiens, interrogés sur les mêmes questions pour valider l’enquête, prouvent que le fondamentalisme religieux existe aussi, mais pas du tout dans la même proportion.

Seulement 13% placent la bible au dessus des lois de leur pays ;

Moins de 20% refusent d’accepter différentes interprétations de la bible ;

9% sont ouvertement antisémites ;

13 % ne veulent pas être amis avec des homosexuels ;

et 23% sont islamophobes (ils pensent que les musulmans veulent détruire la civilisation occidentale.)

Même parmi les sous groupes comme les Adventistes du 7e jour, les Témoins de Jéhova, et les Pentecôtistes, les idées fondamentalistes ne sont suivies que par 12% d’entre eux, soit bien moins que les musulmans sunnites, eux-mêmes légèrement moins radicaux que la moyenne.

Leçon numéro cinq : les milieux sociaux défavorisés ne favorisent pas le radicalisme

Il est connu que les milieux socio-économiques défavorisés, les classes ouvrières, sont plus attirés par les mouvements extrémistes que les catégories privilégiées.

Comme les niveaux de vie des musulmans sont généralement inférieurs à celui des chrétiens, il est possible que le fondamentalisme musulman soit d’origine sociale, et non religieuse.

Cependant, les résultats de l’analyse de contrôle selon la méthode régressive pour le niveau d’éducation, le statut salarial, l’âge, le sexe, et le statut marital révèlent que, bien que certaines de ces variables font ressortir des variations dans le degré de radicalisme dans les deux groupes religieux étudiés, ils n’expliquent pas du tout, voire même réduisent la théorie selon laquelle un milieu social défavorisé pousse vers le fondamentalisme.

Et alors que le fondamentalisme est plus rare chez les jeunes chrétiens, les attitudes radicales sont très fréquentes chez les jeunes musulmans.

Leçon numéro six : le racisme anti-blanc, sorte d’équivalent musulman à l’islamophobie, est plus fortement développé

Alors qu’environ 23% des Européens peuvent être considérés comme islamophobes selon l’étude, le degré de « phobie » (pour lequel il n’existe pas de mot – Occidentophobie ?) ou de haine des musulmans envers les blancs européens, est très élevé.

54% des musulmans pensent que l’occident veut détruire l’islam.

Cette conclusion concorde d’ailleurs avec l’étude conduite en 2006 par l’institut de recherche Pew, qui montrait qu’environ la moitié des musulmans de France, d’Allemagne et de Grande Bretagne croient en cette théorie de la conspiration selon laquelle les attentats du 11 septembre n’ont pas été provoqués par des musulmans, mais par des occidentaux et/ ou des juifs.

Un autre aspect inquiétant est que l’islamophobie est plus faible chez les jeunes européens de souche, tandis que l’hostilité contre les Européens natifs est très forte parmi les jeunes musulmans.

Là encore, il est connu que la xénophobie et le racisme sont plus forts dans les classes défavorisés, et l’étude devait vérifier les différences selon les catégories socio-économiques.

Les analyses régressives à variables multiples ont montré que c’est bien le cas, mais le contrôle avec les variables socio-économiques ne parviennent pas à expliquer la différence entre les musulmans et les chrétiens.

Ainsi, nous avons trouvé que la différence de racisme et de xénophobie entre les personnes de niveau universitaire et ceux du niveau certificat d’étude est deux fois moins importante que la différence entre les musulmans et les natifs européens.

Voir également:

The Greatest Murder Machine in History
Mike Konrad
American thinker
May 31, 2014

When one thinks of mass murder, Hitler comes to mind. If not Hitler, then Tojo, Stalin, or Mao. Credit is given to the 20th-century totalitarians as the worst species of tyranny to have ever arisen. However, the alarming truth is that Islam has killed more than any of these, and may surpass all of them combined in numbers and cruelty.

The enormity of the slaughters of the « religion of peace » are so far beyond comprehension that even honest historians overlook the scale. When one looks beyond our myopic focus, Islam is the greatest killing machine in the history of mankind, bar none.

The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. — Will Durant, as quoted on Daniel Pipes site.<

Conservative estimates place the number at 80 million dead Indians.

According to some calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate). — Koenrad Elst as quoted on Daniel Pipes site

80 Million?! The conquistadors’ crimes pale into insignificance at that number. No wonder Hitler admired Islam as a fighting religion. He stood in awe of Islam, whose butchery even he did not surpass.

Over 110 Million Blacks were killed by Islam.

… a minumum of 28 Million African were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East.  Since, at least, 80 percent of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave market, it is believed that the death toll from 1400 years of Arab and Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 Millions.  When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 Million people. — John Allembillah Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-religious Dialogue<

Add just those two numbers alone together, and Islam has surpassed the victims of 20th-century totalitarianism. However, it does not end there. Add the millions who died at the hand of Muslims in the Sudan in our lifetime.

Much of Islamic slavery was sexual in nature, with a preference for women. Those men who were captured were castrated. The mulatto children of the women were often killed, which explains why Islam was not demographically shifted towards the black race, unlike slaves in the West, who bore children to breed a mestizo class. Add in those dead children; and we arrive at well over 200 million.

Remember that in the 7th century, North Africa was almost totally Christian. What happened to them?

By the year 750, a hundred years after the conquest of Jerusalem, at least 50 percent of the world’s Christians found themselves under Muslim hegemony… Today there is no indigenous Christianity in the region [of Northwest Africa], no communities of Christians whose history can be traced to antiquity.– « Christianity Face to Face with Islam, » CERC

What happened to those Christian millions? Some converted. The rest?  Lost to history.

We know that over 1 million Europeans were enslaved by Barbary Pirates. How many died is anybody’s guess.

…for the 250 years between 1530 and 1780, the figure could easily have been as high as 1,250,000 –  BBC

In the Middle Ages…

…many slaves were passed through Armenia and were castrated there to fill the Muslim demand for eunuchs. — Slavery in Early Medieval Europe.

The same practice ran through Islamic Spain. North Europeans captured from raids up to Iceland, or purchased, were butchered in the castratoriums of Iberia. Many died from the operations that ran for centuries.

The number of dead from the Muslim conquest of the Balkans and Southern Italy is unknown, but again the numbers add up, surely into the millions over the centuries. Don’t forget the 1.5 million Armenian Christians killed by the Turks during WWI. We do know that over five centuries, vast numbers of Christian boys were kidnapped to become Islamic Janissary mercenaries for the Turks. Add those in, too.

Muslims prized blonde women for their harems; and so enslaved Slavic women were purchased in the bazaars of the Crimean Caliphate. In Muslim Spain, an annual tribute of 100 Visigothic [blonde] women was required from Spain’s Cantabrian coast.

For decades, 100 virgins per year were required by the Muslim rulers of Spain from the conquered population.  The tribute was only stopped when the Spaniards began fighting back — Jihad: Islam’s 1,300 Year War Against Western Civilisation<

Add in the death toll from the Reconquista and the numbers climb higher.

Research has shown that the Dark Ages were not caused by the Goths, who eventually assimilated and Christianized:

…the real destroyers of classical civilization were the Muslims. It was the Arab Invasions… which broke the unity of the Mediterranean world and turned the Middle Sea — previously one of the world’s most important trading highways — into a battleground. It was only after the appearance of Islam… that the cities of the West, which depended upon the Mediterranean trade for their survival, began to die. — Islam Caused the Dark Ages

Add in those unknown millions who died as a consequence.

How many know the horrors of the conquest of Malaysia? The Buddhists of Thailand and Malaysia were slaughtered en masse.

When attacked and massacred by the Muslims, the Buddhists initially did not make any attempt to escape from their murderers. They accepted death with an air of fatalism and destiny. And hence they are not around today to tell their story. – History of Jihad.org

We may never know the numbers of dead.

After Muslims came to power in the early 15th century, animist hill peoples eventually disappeared due to their enslavement and ‘incorporation’ into the Muslim population of Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java via raids, tribute and purchase, especially of children. Java was the largest exporter of slaves around 1500. — Islam Monitor<

In the same manner, Islam arrived in the Philippines. Only the appearance of the Spanish stopped a total collapse, and confined Islam to the southern islands.

The coming of the Spanish saved the Philippines from Islam, except for the Southern tip where the population had been converted to Islam.– History of Jihad.org<

Again, the number of dead is unknown; but add them to the total.

The animist Filipinos were eager to ally with the Spanish against Islam. In fact, much of Southeast Asia welcomed the Spanish and Portuguese as preferable to Islam.

…from the 17th century successive Thai kings allied themselves with the seafaring Western powers – the Portuguese and the Dutch and succeeded in staving off the threat of Islam from the Muslim Malays and their Arab overlords.– History of Jihad.org  

A few galleons and muskets were not enough to conquer Asia. Islam had made the Europeans initially appear as liberators; and to a certain extent they were. Who were the real imperialists?

Even today…

…Malaysian Jihadis are plotting to transform multi-ethnic Malaysia into an Islamic Caliphate, and fomenting trouble in Southern Thailand.– History of Jihad.org<

Add this all up. The African victims. The Indian victims. The European victims. Add in the Armenian genocide. Then add in the lesser known, but no doubt quite large number of victims of Eastern Asia. Add in the jihad committed by Muslims against China, which was invaded in 651 AD. Add in the Crimean Khanate predations on the Slavs, especially their women.

Though the numbers are not clear, what is obvious is that Islam is the greatest murder machine in history bar none, possibly exceeding 250 million dead. Possibly one-third to one-half or more of all those killed by war or slavery in history can be traced to Islam; and this is just a cursory examination.

Now consider the over 125 Million women today who have been genitally mutilated for Islamic honor’s sake. In spite of what apologists tell you, the practice is almost totally confined to Islamic areas.

New information from Iraqi Kurdistan raises the possibility that the problem is more prevalent in the Middle East than previously believed and that FGM is far more tied to religion than many Western academics and activists admit. – “Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME Quarterly

Once thought concentrated in Africa, FGM has now been discovered to be common wherever Islam is found.

There are indications that FGM might be a phenomenon of epidemic proportions in the Arab Middle East. Hosken, for instance, notes that traditionally all women in the Persian Gulf region were mutilated. Arab governments refuse to address the problem. — « Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem? » ME Quarterly

Remember that this has gone on for 1400 years; and was imposed on a population that had been formerly Christian or pagan.

FGM is practiced on large scale in Islamic Indonesia; and is increasing.

…far from scaling down, the problem of FGM in Indonesia has escalated sharply. The mass ceremonies in Bandung have grown bigger and more popular every year. – Guardian

The horrified British author of that Guardian article is still deluded that Islam does not support FGM, when in fact it is now settled that FGM is a core Islamic practice. Islamic women have been brainwashed to support their own abuse.

Abu Sahlieh further cited Muhammad as saying, « Circumcision is a sunna (tradition) for the men and makruma (honorable deed) for the women. »  — “Is Female Genital Mutilation an Islamic Problem?” ME Quarterly

What other tyranny does this? Not even the Nazis mutilated their own women!

Unlike the 20th-century totalitarians whose killing fury consumed themselves, reducing their longevity, Islam paces itself. In the end, though slower, Islam has killed and tortured far more than any other creed, religious or secular. Unlike secular tyranny, Islam, by virtue of its polygamy and sexual predations, reproduces itself and  increases.

Other tyrannies are furious infections, which burn hot, but are soon overcome. Islam is a slow terminal cancer, which metastasizes, and takes over. It never retreats. Its methods are more insidious, often imperceptible at first, driven by demographics. Like cancer, excision may be the only cure.

So whenever you read about this or that Israeli outrage — and there may be truth to the complaint — place the news in context. Look whom the Israelis are fighting against. Islam is like nothing else in history.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.

Voir encore:

Killing In The Name Of God
Alon Ben-Meir
American thinker
July 21, 2013

Notwithstanding the cultural and interpretive differences between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the God worshiped by Muhammad is the same God that communicated with Abraham and to which Jesus prayed.

This one God, it is believed, revealed sublime values which were then disseminated by the three largest monotheistic religions. It is therefore easy to wholeheartedly support these religions for giving voice to ethical injunctions for centuries.

That is, despite myriad conflicts, religion at its core was created to foster peace, compassion, and brotherhood while providing ethical guidance and nurturing the inherent good in humanity, reflecting a generous and loving Supreme Being.

Giving voice to this truth, Einstein said that without religion, science was lame. Science, he argued, can measure and predict events but cannot directly provide advice concerning what is right or wrong, where religion can offer guidance in ethical conduct.

Considering the ever-present challenge for human survival in a hostile world, it is understandable that religions would occasionally remain silent on the verdict of war or fail in their missions to promote peace and amity.

The World Wars of the twentieth century are historically considered secular wars fought over political, geographic, and economic interests. Yet in Europe, six million Jews were exterminated as a result of centuries of anti-Semitic teachings brewing in the heart of medieval Christendom.

From the time of Muhammad and for nearly thirteen hundred years after, Islam waged religious wars against whole populations, forcing conversion to Islam (excluding Jews and Christians, known as « the people of the book ») as a means by which to spread its faith.

The major Christian response to the spread of Islam manifested as the Crusades, which spanned the 11th to 13th centuries.

The European wars of religion between rivaling Christian sects encompassed roughly 125 years of conflict in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The Arab-Israeli conflict, though ostensibly fought over territory, contains a powerful religious component, especially in connection with Jerusalem, for which thousands have been killed and many more might die if it is not resolved peacefully.

In all cases, religious conviction, which was repeatedly invoked, amplified a sense of entitlement to the lands and wealth of other.

This begs the question: of what stuff is religion truly made? For in all the conflicts in the history of the world, the violence and atrocities incited by religious fervor comprise some of the worst violations of human dignity.

Historically speaking, a religious war is a conflict exclusively incited and fueled by diversity in religious identity. While technically less than 10% of all the wars ever fought were wars of religion, only a few did not encompass or embody some religious component or sentiment.

By the same token that we support the ethical teachings of religions, we must all the more and in unison condemn self-appointed messengers and spokespersons of the divine that foment mass murder in the name of God.

For unless we believe that this all-merciful, fatherly, peace-loving, and ever-beneficent God wills for his believers to kill each other in His name, we must conclude that religions are repeatedly corrupted to pit the children of God against each other.

Ironically, conflict more often occurs within religions than between them. Today we witness the eruption of centuries of enmity between Sunni and Shiites Muslims that has been nurtured by prolonged persecution.

The Sunni-Shiite schism occurred when Muhammad died in 632, causing disagreement over the succession to Muhammad’s religious authority. Following the murder of Hussein (Ali’s son and Muhammad’s grandson), the Muslim community became squarely and eternally divided.

Nevertheless, tensions between Sunnis and Shiites are more often about political persecution than strictly theology, though religious convictions are frequently invoked, fomenting anger and resentment.

During the Safavid era in Persia between the years 1501-1736, forced conversion of Sunnis to Shiites was systematically done to change the demographic balance between the two; those who refused were killed.

The 1979 revolution in Iran that brought the Shiites to power (with regional hegemonic ambitions) further heightened the tension between the two sects.

Further radicalization of Shiites came with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the establishment of the Shiite Hezb’allah.

While the average Sunni and Shiite have been relatively able to live in peace, the theological division has allowed despots, like Saddam Hussein, to disempower and dehumanize Shiites.

The 2003 Iraq war, though subsequently bringing the Shiite majority to power, ignited a bloody conflict between Shiites and Sunnis that continues to this day.

Conflicting interests between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia and Turkey have made Syria the battleground between the two sects, deepening the fissure more than at any other time in living memory.

Though Sunni and Shiites agree on the unquestioned authority of the Qur’an, sectarian factionalism has persisted and remains a destabilizing force in the Middle East, leaving a terrible inheritance passed down from generation to generation.

Children, especially of the disenfranchised and poorly educated, have effectively become not the recipients of the necessary ethical teachings of Islam, but the targets of religious extremism, promoting endless sectarian strife.

Part of the problem is that the codification of religious precepts opens it up to all manner of interpretation; indigent and marginalized peoples are particularly vulnerable to the most radical and violence-producing interpretations of Islam.

It is in this way that a precept, for example, to not murder, is literally turned on its head and becomes the precise opposite; where once religion decried violence, now violence and death are associated with martyrdom. Yet the situation in the Middle East is far graver than this.

When true believers habitually use religious language to explain and frame the events of their lives, the heart and emotions, more often than reason and science, are employed as a means of defining one’s place in the world.

Moreover, if the avenue to self-determination is exclusively faith-based, radical responses to extreme situations of disempowerment, as in Iraq post-Saddam Hussein and poverty-stricken Yemen, will be more passionate than tempered.

Herein lies the danger, for this is no longer a world where we can afford to view whole peoples as populations to be conquered and converted, whether to a religious, economic, or political paradigm.

The monotheistic faiths must at once embrace their ethical heritage and disavow their antiquated views of God, acknowledging that humanity has invented thousands of gods. All these gods, without exception, reflect the people who invented them and the conditions under which they lived.

In other words, religions spiritually succeed when they embrace the spirit of God embodied in their very ethical teachings but utterly fail when they become little more than a ruse designed to supplant God with tribal, ethnic, and sectarian divisiveness.

The work of Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677) may be of help here. Einstein once said that his God was the God of Spinoza. Pantheism, or understanding God as the cosmos, was already ancient in the East when Spinoza was born.

Yet the idea that God might be conceived by the mind — as in his famous interpretation of natura naturans (« nature nurturing »)– was relatively new in the West.

While denying a personal God « up there, » Spinoza reminds us that we can embrace the idea of an Infinite Being that has passively produced, as part of its very nature, the cosmos.

Although the rabbinic tradition considered this heresy and excommunicated Spinoza, I would argue that, far from lowering God’s status as the clergy believed, it elevated it.

Such an elevated God inspires a more personal religion wherein virtue is internalized, selfishness is nullified, and a sincere jihad against the biological responses to fear, fight or flight, and insecurity is waged within.

Humanity has suffered for too long due to a lowered conception of the infinite that was easily exploited to pit man against man. Increased used of the scientific method and reason, especially among those afforded a high degree of education, may tone down emotional and passionate responses to challenging circumstances.

This is not to say that the intellectual approach has all of the answers, lest we forget Einstein’s reminder regarding science’s ethical limits.

For while the West understandably pays a great deal of attention to the current killing in the name of God in some of the Arab states, the numbers involved do not compare to the fifty million or more slaughtered in World War II alone mostly Christians against Christians.

Intellectually-bent Western societies may introduce the « civility » of war, complete with Geneva Conventions and other rules by which blood can be spilt. But their wars, to date, encompass a far greater destructive power than do the conflicts of any other peoples, especially in the current conflict of Muslims against Muslims in the Middle East.

So the question remains: how can we cease the religious (in the name of God) and corporate (in the name of Mammon) justification of violence?

Understanding violence in the broadest context, the West may in some respects be actually farther away from realizing this goal. While the death tolls of soldiers are easy to disseminate, the daily suffering of millions of dislocated, dishonored, and stateless lives does not as easily fit into our news diet.

The West also does not live within the scope of history. While for us yesterday is already history, the Arab world lives day in and day out conscious of its histories of divisiveness, colonialism, dictatorships, and arbitrary borders imposed by Western powers that fostered sectarian conflicts and territorial claims and counterclaims.

Nevertheless, the Arab world is left with the challenge to compartmentalize religion and God, just as the West has done; albeit far from perfect, religion in the West remains functional, consistent, and in the spirit of one’s personal choice.

For the Muslim world, Islam is more than a mere belief to embrace, but a way of life and part and parcel of a cultural heritage; as such, it remains a part of the heart and self-identity.

That said, nearly 60 percent of the Arab population (250 million out of 422 million in total) is under the age of 25. They yearn for freedom, education, health care, and the opportunity for a better future.

They are Muslims at heart and mind but they do not wish to be ruled by either secular or religious dictators (albeit ostensibly freely-elected) as demonstrated by Egypt’s second revolution.

They want to be free while adhering to Islamic tradition and culture and draw a balance between secularism and orthodoxy.

Religion, like it is today in Israel and to a great extent in Muslim Malaysia and Bangladesh, may be used to reconcile family issues, including marriage, divorce, children and custody issues, death, and coming-of-age rituals.

Beyond this, religion must go no farther. It must have no bearing on medical science, international relations, or national defense, and a host of other international and domestic issues. Other than that religion must foster unconditional peace, amity, love, and compassion in humankind.

Thus in writing new constitutions in the emerging transitional authorities, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other Arab states must recognize that whereas collaboration between the religious and the secular is necessary, legislatively codifying Sharia law as a source for legislation is a step backward.

For the world today, Arab states that have overwhelming majorities of youth are not so intellectually poor as to require religion for its only source of ethics. Codes of behavior flow from secular humanism, law, and philosophical debate.

Those who look to religion for personal guidance are free to do so and their right must be protected, but they must also abide by the laws that separate church and state. No longer should any religious edict be forced on anyone.

Under these conditions, religious freedom goes hand in hand with personal freedom, which is central in promoting all religions’ fundamental tenets of brotherhood, compassion, amity and peace.

And perhaps this may bring an end to the killing in the name of God that betrays the essence of why and to what end religion was created in the first place.

Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies. alon@alonben-meir.com Web: http://www.alonben-eir.com

Voir de même:

Catholic Reverend: Not possible to extract violence and terror from Islam
Allen West
October 3, 2014

As we sit quietly by, watching this entity called ISIS endeavor to create an Islamic caliphate or recoil at the recent beheading of an American woman, I believe it’s time to conduct a serious analysis of Islam.

I care not for the cultural jihadist apologists and their PC dismissals. The time has come for the sake of Western civilization and our Constitutional Republic to ask the hard questions and make the tough assessments.

What separates Islam from other religions is a single word — reformation. It’s interesting how so many want to play the relativism game when it comes to Christianity and Islam. First, let’s make a clear distinction: Christianity is a faith, not a religion. As a matter of fact, there can be no debate that America – if not most of Western civilization — has a Judeo-Christian faith heritage in the formulation of its foundational principles.

Religion is manmade dogma, not a faith — such as Judaism is a faith but there are many different subsets, in other words, religious practices, such as Orthodox Hasidic, Chabad Lubavitch, Conservative, and Reform. As for the Christian faith, it comes down to Catholicism and Protestantism – but there are countless subsets of religious practices in Protestantism (Calvinists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc).

Some say Christianity has fought many wars, but actually it was the clash between the traditions of Catholicism and the newly advocated Protestantism. It was Martin Luther’s 95 Theses of 1517 that was the impetus of what would become the Protestant [root word being protest] Reformation. It was a revolutionary endeavor to promote the right and freedom of the individual to have a relationship with God not requiring an intermediary — such as what the Catholic Church at the time promoted. It was this that led to the Gutenberg printing of the Bible in mass for all to read and understand. It’s critical to understand what Luther actually set in motion.

First of all, it was the beginning of individual sovereignty in challenging the prevalent belief that the collective was preeminent over the individual. It unlocked the beginning of individual enlightenment and the ability to question and reason. And most important, it challenged the ruling monarchial concept of Divine Law theory — rule being granted to Kings and such by God — and laid the seeds for the Natural Law theory, which led to the concept of unalienable individual rights from the Creator — since Luther had established this personal relationship. It was the Protestant Reformation that has led to the elevation of the individual instead of the subjugation of the collective — the seminal fundamental principle of Western civilization.

The problem we are facing today is that Islam has never been reformed and still holds onto 7th century precepts as promoted by an illiterate, violent, war lord and pedophile — who is considered the “perfect man.”

And so I found particularly relevant a recent article entitled “It’s time to take the Islamic State Seriously” posted on Crisismagazine.com by Reverend James V. Schall, S.J. Rev. Schall taught political science at Georgetown University for many years and his latest books include The Mind That Is Catholic, Remembering Belloc, and Reasonable Pleasures.

Rev Schall’s piece was thought-provoking, and theologically and historically spot on. He writes, “What I want to propose here is an opinion. An opinion is a position that sees the plausibility but not certainty of a given proposition. But I think this opinion is well-grounded and makes more sense both of historic and of present Islam than most of the other views that are prevalent. The Islamic State and the broader jihadist movements throughout the world that agree with it are, I think, correct in their basic understanding of Islam. Plenty of evidence is found, both in the long history of early Muslim military expansion and in its theoretical interpretation of the Qur’an itself, to conclude that the Islamic State and its sympathizers have it basically right. The purpose of Islam, with the often violent means it can and does use to accomplish it, is to extend its rule, in the name of Allah, to all the world. The world cannot be at “peace” until it is all Muslim.”

And we must not forget that Islam means “submission” — quite in contrast to what Luther was promoting.

Rev. Schall is saying that it’s not possible to extract violence and terror from Islam itself as that is an integral part of its calling. Islam began in 612AD and its first convert was Mohammed’s first wife Kadeisha. The so-called “peaceful verses” of the Qur’an come in the time period from 612AD-622AD. Around 622AD, Mohammed took his “night ride” to Jerusalem because he was rejected in his home tribal area of Mecca, and he enacted the Hijra to Medina. This began the second phase when Mohammed aligned himself with violent tribes and started his actions with the Nahkla raid and the verses of the Qur’an shifted to violent — but based upon the Arabic term “Nakesh” which means abrogation, the latter more violent verses supersede all those previous, but all verses have validity. This lends to the duplicity of Islam.

“In Muslim doctrine,” Rev. Schall writes, “everyone born into the world is a Muslim. No one has any right or reason not to be. Hence, everyone who is not a Muslim is to be converted or eliminated — [as we saw done to the Christian community and others in Mosul]. This is also true of the literary, monumental, and other signs of civilizations or states that are not Muslim. They are destroyed as not authorized by the Qur’an. It is the religious responsibility of Islam to carry out its assigned mission of subduing the world to Allah. It may be possible for some to read Islam as a religion of “peace.” But its “peace,” in its own terms, means the peace of Allah within its boundaries, Dar-al-Islam. With the rest of the outside world, it is at war — Dar al-Harb — in order to accomplish a religious purpose, namely, to have all submitted to Allah in the passive way that the Qur’an specifies.”

The problem Rev. Schall brings out in his piece is that we here in the West, and certainly this Obama administration, attempt to rationalize and reason the problem away. We fail to just accept what is happening, and has happened historically, before our eyes.

Now, this is not about condemning Muslims. However, it is about indicting a political-theocratic totalitarian imperialistic ideology — it ain’t workplace violence folks. We always hear about “crusades” yet no one wants to talk about how Islam sought to spread — certainly not by peaceful proselytization — as could be seen from North Africa to Spain (Al Andalusia) to France (Battle of Tours) to the Mediterranean (Battle of Lepanto) to Constantinople (Istanbul) to the Balkans to Vienna to Hindu India to China to the Phillipines and today to Ft. Hood, Texas and Moore, Oklahoma. And yet we have individuals such as CIA Director John Brennan giving us some wishy-washy definition of jihad or B. Hussein Obama telling us ISIS isn’t Islamic.

I highly encourage you all to read Rev. Schall’s entire piece. It is highly enlightening and I leave you with his conclusion, “It is easy to write this movement off as fanatical and ruthless, which it is. To the outside world, it sounds horrific, but I suspect not to those who believe its truth and see the current revival of Islam with relief. The second or third class ranking of Islam in the modern world is over. But to the degree that we misjudge what is motivating the renewal of Islam, we will never understand why it exists as it does.”

Luther’s reformation brought about great strides for the civilized world. If Islam does not undergo a reformation, there is no coexistence, only a new Dark Age.

Voir par ailleurs:

Fundamentalism and out-group hostility
Muslim immigrants and Christian natives in Western Europe
Ruud Koopmans

WZB Mitteilungen

December 2013

In the heated controversies over immigration and Islam in the early 21st century, Muslims have widely become associated in media debates and the popular imagery with religious fundamentalism. Against this, others have argued that religiously fundamentalist ideas are found among only a small minority of Muslims living in the West, and that religious fundamentalism can equally be found among adherents of other religions, including Christianity. However, claims on both sides of this debate lack a sound empirical base because very little is known about the extent of re ligious fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants, and virtually no evidence is available that allows a comparison with native Christians. Religious fundamentalism is certainly not unique to Islam. The term has its origin in a Protestant revival movement in the early 20th century United States, which propagated a return to the “fundaments” of the Christian faith by way of a strict adherence to, and literal interpretation of the rules of the Bible. A large number of studies on Protestant Christian religious fundamentalism in the USA have shown that it is strongly and consistently associated with prejudices and hostility against racial and religious out-groups, as well as “deviant” groups such as homosexuals. By contrast, our knowledge of the extent to which Muslim minorities in Western countries adhere to fundamentalist interpretations of Islam is strikingly limited. Several studies have shown that, compared to the majority population, Muslim immigrants more often define themselves as religious, identify more strongly with their religion, and engage more often in religious practices such as praying, visiting the mosque, or following religious prescriptions such as halal food or wearing a headscarf. But religiosity as such says little about the extent to which these religious beliefs and practices can be deemed “fundamentalist” and are associated with out-group hostility.

The WZB-funded Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey (SCIICS) among immigrants and natives in Germany, France, the Neth erlands, Belgium, Austria and Sweden provides for the first time a solid empirical basis for these debates. The survey with a total sample size of 9,000 respondents was conducted in 2008 among persons with a Turkish or Moroccan immigration background, as well as a native comparison group. Following the widely accepted definition of fundamentalism of Bob Altermeyer and Bruce Hunsberger, the fundamentalism belief system is defined by three key elements:

- that believers should return to the eternal and unchangeable rules laid down in the past;
– that these rules allow only one interpretation and are binding for all believers;
– that religious rules have priority over secular laws.

These aspects of fundamentalism were measured by the following survey items that were asked to those native respondents who indicated that they were Christians (70%), and to those respondents of Turkish and Moroccan origin who indicated they were Muslims (96%):

“Christians [Muslims] should return to the roots of Christianity [Islam].”
“There is only one interpretation of the Bible [the Koran] and every Christian [Muslim] must stick to that.”
“The rules of the Bible [the Koran] are more important to me than the laws of [survey country].”

Figure 1 shows that religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon within West European Muslim communities. Almost 60 per cent agree that Muslims should return to the roots of Islam, 75 per cent think there is only one interpretation of the Koran possible to which every Muslim should stick and 65 per cent say that religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. Consistent fundamentalist beliefs, with agreement to all three statements, are found among 44 per cent of the interviewed Muslims. Fundamentalist attitudes are slightly less prevalent among Sunni Muslims with a Turkish (45% agreement to all three statements) compared to a Moroccan (50%) background. Alevites, a Turkish minority current within Islam, display much lower levels of fundamentalism (15%). Against the idea that fundame
ntalism is a reaction to exclusion by the host society, we find the lowest levels of fundamen talism in Germany, where Muslims enjoy fewer religious rights than in any of the other five countries. But even among German
Muslims fundamentalist attitudes are widespread, with 30 per cent agreeing to all three statements. Comparisons with other German studies reveal remarkably similar patterns. For instance, in the 2007 Muslime in Deutschland study 47 per cent of German Muslims agreed with the statement that following the rules of one’s religion is more important than democracy, almost identical to the 47 per cent in our survey that finds the rules of the Koran more important than the German laws.

Another striking finding in Figure 1 is that religious fundamentalism is much more widespread among Muslims than among Christian natives. Among Christians agreement to the single statements ranges between 13 and 21 per cent and less than 4 per cent can be characterized as consistent fundamentalists who agree with all three items. In line with what is known about Christian fundamentalism, levels of agreement are slightly higher (4% agreeing with all statements) among mainstream Protestants than among Catholics (3%), and most pronounced (12%) among the adherents of smaller Protestant groups such as Seventh Day Adventists, Jehova’s Witnesses and Pentecostal believers. However, even among these groups support for fundamentalist attitudes remains much below the levels found among Sunni Muslims. Turkish Alevites’ view on the role of religion is however more similar to that of native Christians than of Sunni Muslims.

Because the demographic and socio-economic profiles of Muslim immigrants and native Christians differ strongly, and since it is known from the literature that marginalized, lower-class individuals are more strongly attracted to fundamentalist movements, it would of course be possible that these differences are due to class rather than religion. However, the results of regression analyses controlling for education, labour market status, age, gender, and marital status reveal that while some of these variables explain variation in fundamentalism within both religious groups, they do not at all explain or even diminish the difference between Muslims and Christians. A cause for concern is that while among Christians religious fundamentalism is much less widespread among younger people, fundamentalist attitudes are as widespread among young as among older Muslims.

Research on Christian fundamentalism in the United States has demonstrated a strong association with hostility towards out-groups, which are seen as threatening the religious in-group. To what extent do we find this linkage also in the European context? To answer this question, we use three statements that measure rejection of homosexuals and Jews, as well as the degree to which the own group is seen as threatened by outside enemies:

“I don’t want to have homosexuals as friends.”
“Jews cannot be trusted.”
“Muslims aim to destroy Western culture.” [for natives]
“Western countries are out to destroy Islam.” [for persons with a Turkish or Moroccan migration background]

Figure 2 shows that out-group hostility is far from negligible among native Christians. As much as 9 per cent are overtly anti-semitic and agree that Jews cannot be trusted. In Germany that percentage is even somewhat higher (11%). Similar percentages reject homosexuals as friends (13 % across all countries, 10% in Germany). Not surprisingly, Muslims are the out-group that draws the highest level of hostility, with 23 per cent of native Christians (17% in Germany) believing that Muslims aim to destroy Western culture. Only few native Christians display hostility against all three groups (1.6%).

If we consider all natives instead of just the Christians, levels of out-group hostility are slightly lower (8% against Jews, 10% against homosexuals, 21% against Muslims, and 1.4% against all three).

Even though these figures for natives are worrisome enough, they are dwarfed by the levels of out-group hostility among European Muslims. Almost 60 per cent reject homosexuals as friends and 45 per cent think that Jews cannot be trusted. While about one in five natives can be considered as Islamophobic, the level of phobia against the West among Muslims – for which oddly enough there is no word; one might call it “Occidentophobia” – is much higher still, with 54 per cent believing that the West is out to destroy Islam. These findings concord with the fact that, as a 2006 study of the Pew research institute showed, about half of the Muslims living in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom believe in the conspiracy theory that the attacks of 9/11 were not carried out by Muslims, but were orchestrated by the West and/or Jews.

Somewhat more than one quarter of Muslims display hostility towards all three out-groups. Contrary to the results for religious fundamentalism, out-group hostility is more widespread among Muslims of Turkish (30% agreeing with all three statements) than among those of Moroccan origin (17%). Although the difference is smaller than in the case of religious fundamentalism, Alevites (13% agreeing to all three statements) display considerably lower levels of out-group hostility than Sunni Muslims of Turkish origin (31%). A worrying aspect is again that while among natives out-group hostility is significantly lower among younger generations, this is not the case among Muslims.

Here too, we must of course make sure that differences between Muslims and natives are not due to the different demographic and socio-economic compositions of these groups, since xenophobia is known to be higher among socio-economically deprived groups. Multivariate regression analyses indeed show this to be the case, but controlling for socio-economic variables hardly reduces group differences. Group differences are moreover much more important than socio-economic differences. For instance, the difference in out-group hostility between those with low and university levels of education is about half as large as the difference between Muslims and natives.

When we take into account religious fundamentalism, this turns out to be by far the most important predictor of out-group hostility and explains most of the differences in levels of out-group hostility between Muslims and Christians.

Also the greater out-group hostility among Turkish-origin Sunnis compared to Alevites is almost entirely explained by the higher level of religious fundamentalism among the Sunnis. A further indication that religious
fundamentalism is a major factor behind out-group hostility is that it is also the most important predictor in separate analyses for Christians and Muslims. In other words, religious fundamentalism not only explains why Muslim immigrants are generally more hostile towards out-groups than native Christians, but also why some Christians and some Muslims are more xenophobic than others.

These findings clearly contradict the often-heard claim that Islamic religious fundamentalism is a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe or that it does not differ from the extent of fundamentalism among the Christian majority. Both claims are blatantly false, as almost half of European Muslims agree that Muslims should return to the roots of Islam, that there is only one interpretation of the Koran, and that the rules laid down in it are more important than secular laws. Among native Christians, less than one in 25 can be characterized as fundamentalists in this sense. Religious fundamentalism is moreover not an innocent form of strict religiosity, as its strong relationship – among both Christians and Muslims – to hostility towards out-groups demonstrates.

Both the extent of Islamic religious fundamentalism and its correlates – homophobia, anti-semitism and “Occidentophobia” – should be serious causes of concern for policy makers as well as Muslim community leaders. Of course, religious fundamentalism should not be equated with the willingness to support, or even to engage in religiously motivated violence. But given its strong relationship to out-group hostility, religious fundamentalism is very likely to provide a nourishing environment for radicalization. Having said that, one should not forget that in Western Europe Muslims make up a relatively small minority of the population.
Although relatively speaking levels of fundamentalism and out-group hostility are much higher among Muslims, in absolute numbers there are at least as many Christian as there are Muslim fundamentalists in Western Europe, and the large majority of homophobes and anti-semites are still natives. As a religious leader respected by both Muslims and Christians once said: “let those who are without sin, cast the first stone.”

Voir aussi:

Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant
History lessons are often incredibly simple.
Israelnews
Paul E. Marek
Paul E. Marek is a second-generation Canadian, whose grandparents fled Czechoslovakia just prior to the Nazi takeover. He is an educational consultant specializing in programs that protect children from predatory adults.

March 18, 2007

I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.

“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”

We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians – most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Voir par ailleurs:

Apologize to Israel, Mr. President
David French
National review

Islamophobie: C’est la faute à l’Occident, imbécile ! (When in doubt, blame the West)

28 septembre, 2014
http://www.barenakedislam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/slide131.jpg
http://www.lemondejuif.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/DSCN1348.jpgJe suis tombé par terre, c’est la faute à Voltaire … Gavroche
Il est malheureux que le Moyen-Orient ait rencontré pour la première fois la modernité occidentale à travers les échos de la Révolution française. Progressistes, égalitaristes et opposés à l’Eglise, Robespierre et les jacobins étaient des héros à même d’inspirer les radicaux arabes. Les modèles ultérieurs — Italie mussolinienne, Allemagne nazie, Union soviétique — furent encore plus désastreux …Ce qui rend l’entreprise terroriste des islamistes aussi dangereuse, ce n’est pas tant la haine religieuse qu’ils puisent dans des textes anciens — souvent au prix de distorsions grossières —, mais la synthèse qu’ils font entre fanatisme religieux et idéologie moderne. Ian Buruma et Avishai Margalit
In many respects, Iraq today looks tragically similar to the Iraq of 2006, complete with increasing numbers of horrific, indiscriminate attacks by Iraq’s al Qaeda affiliate and its network of extremists. Add to that the ongoing sectarian civil war in Syria — which is, in many aspects, a regional conflict being fought there — and the situation in Iraq looks even more complicated than it was in 2006 and thus even more worrisome — especially given the absence of American combat forces. David H. Petraeus (October 29, 2013)
La réalité est que, depuis 2002 et l’offensive alliée contre le régime Taliban d’Afghanistan et ses protégés djihadistes, Al-Qaïda relève plus du mythe que de la réalité. C’est un mythe qui a été entretenu par le fait que tout contestataire dans le monde musulman, quelles que soient ses motivations et ses objectifs, a bien compris qu’il devait se réclamer de l’organisation qui avait épouvanté l’Amérique s’il voulait être pris au sérieux. C’est un mythe qui a été entretenu par certains dirigeants des pays musulmans qui ont bien compris qu’ils devaient coller l’étiquette Al-Qaïda sur leurs opposants s’ils voulaient pouvoir les réprimer tranquillement. C’est enfin un mythe qui a été entretenu par les dirigeants et les médias d’un certain nombre de pays occidentaux pour légitimer leur politique sécuritaire intérieure et extérieure. Mais dans la galaxie salafiste, tout le monde sait bien que Al-Qaïda se résumait depuis 2003 à un Ben Laden réfugié dans un « resort » des services pakistanais et à un sentencieux Ayman Zawahiri distribuant les bons et les mauvais points de djihadisme et s’appropriant verbalement des actes de violence commis un peu partout dans le monde qu’il n’avait ni commandités, ni prescrits ni contrôlés. Il était difficile pour des djihadistes ambitieux de remettre en cause la figure emblématique de Ben Laden mais plus facile de s’affranchir de la tutelle morale de Zawahiri. En particulier pour des chefs de bande locaux qui n’avaient que faire du « djihad mondial » sans bénéfice immédiat et souhaitaient plutôt se bâtir un petit sultanat local où ils pourraient exercer un pouvoir sans partage et rançonner la population. C’est ce type de raisonnement, joint aux aléas des rivalités locales et des surenchères entre l’Arabie et le Qatar, qui a poussé un Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi à rejeter le parrainage d’Al-Qaïda et – comme on dit en France – à s’autoproclamer « Calife à la place du Calife ». (…) L’EIIL n’a pas « émergé » comme par miracle l’année dernière. Il est la filiation directe de ce que l’on appelait il y encore quelque temps « Al-Qaïda en Irak » ou « Al-Qaïda en Mésopotamie ». Cette organisation avait été elle-même formée en 2003 par Abou Moussaab al-Zarqawi, ancien membre d’Al-Qaïda rejeté par Ben Laden pour son aventurisme, à partir d’un groupe djihadiste préexistant dans le nord est de l’Irak et connu sous le nom de Ansar al-Islam (Partisans de l’Islam). Après la mort de Zarqawi tué dans un bombardement américain, l’organisation a été reprise en main par son chef actuel qui a continué de bénéficier du soutien actif des services saoudiens dans la perspective de s’opposer à la mainmise totale des chiites sur le pouvoir irakien et à la connivence de plus en plus marquée entre Baghdad et Téhéran. Les choses se sont compliquées début 2011 avec l’émergence des troubles en Syrie. Les services spéciaux saoudiens du Prince Bandar Ben Sultan et le Qatar se sont lancé dans des initiatives rivales pour accélérer la chute de Bashar el-Assad. Les Saoudiens ont organisé en Syrie l’émergence d’un front salafiste anti-régime sous la désignation de Jabhat al-Nosra tandis que les Qataris ont lancé une « OPA hostile » sur l’EIIL en diversifiant ses activités sur la Syrie en complément de l’Irak et en concurrence avec les autres groupes djihadistes. Et tout ce paysage confus s’est transformé à l’été 2013 quand le coup d’État feutré qui a eu lieu à Qatar a écarté l’Emir et son activiste Premier ministre et recentré les investissements de l’Émirat sur des activités économiques plutôt que politiques. Dans le même temps, à la lueur du désordre politique et social induit en Égypte par la gestion des Frères Musulmans, le cabinet royal saoudien – plutôt partisan d’un ordre régional apaisé et d’un système de coexistence plutôt que d’affrontement avec l’Iran – a repris la main sur les extrémistes du clan familial, écarté le Prince Bandar et ses partisans, apporté son soutien au coup d’État du Maréchal Sissi et, surtout, condamné et criminalisé les activités djihadistes au Levant. Brutalement privés de soutiens extérieurs significatifs, Jabhat el-Nosra et surtout l’EIIL se sont retrouvés condamnés à une fuite en avant, coincés sur place et contraints d’y trouver les ressources financières et militaires nécessaires à leur survie. Ce n’est pas par hasard que le premier objectif de l’EIIL dans sa fulgurante offensive du printemps dernier a été de s’emparer de la succursale de la banque centrale d’Irak à Mossoul pour y rafler près d’un demi-milliard de dollars en or et en billets. (…) Ces organisations fonctionnent sur un mode féodal et mafieux où des chefs de bandes locales prêtent allégeance au chef de l’organisation en fonction de leur intérêt du moment. Les frontières entre les mouvements sont donc poreuses mais avec les risques que cela comporte en cas de trahison. D’autre part il faut considérer qu’il existe en Syrie comme en Irak une multitude de groupes armés locaux, parfois à l’échelle du village, du quartier ou du groupe d’immeubles, à l’allégeance mal définie et qui se rallient à tel ou tel en fonction des circonstances et du profit à en espérer.(…) Pour l’instant l’EIIL dispose d’un trésor de guerre estimé à 2 milliards de dollars. Ce trésor repose essentiellement sur le racket de « l’impôt révolutionnaire », sur le contrôle d’un certain nombre de site d’extraction d’hydrocarbures, sur le pillage systématique et la revente sur le marché noir turc des matériaux de construction (souvent arrachés des maisons existantes), matériels industriels et agricoles, véhicules, objets volés dans les propriétés publiques et privées dans les zones contrôlées. Mais il faut se garder pour autant de considérer que l’EIIL dispose maintenant d’un budget annuel fixe et permanent. Le pillage de la succursale de la Banque Centrale d’Irak à Mossoul était un fusil à un coup. Il a été largement dilapidé dans la « location » de chefs de tribus sunnites d’Irak qui ont permis à l’EIIL sa rapide offensive du printemps. Le pillage des biens d’équipement sera bientôt tari par épuisement. De même que « l’impôt révolutionnaire » par suite de ruine ou exode des « assujettis ». Reste le contrôle des ressources pétrolières (vulnérables car les puits ne sont pas déplaçables) qui est soumis au bon vouloir des Turcs et d’un certain nombre d’intermédiaires irakiens, tous susceptibles de « retourner leur veste » en fonction de la conjoncture internationale. Bref, dans six ou huit mois, il ne restera plus grande chose et c’est là que se posera (s’il n’est pas réglé avant) le problème du retour vers leur pays d’origine des mercenaires et volontaires étrangers (Tchétchènes, Bosniaques, Maghrébins, Libyens, Saoudiens interdits de retour au royaume, et – en ce qui nous concerne – Européens.) (…) Al-Qaïda était un mouvement terroriste stricto sensu. C’est-à-dire un groupe restreint ayant une stratégie globale mais pas de tactique définie, mettant en œuvre des non-professionnels de la violence sacrifiables en vue de commettre dans le monde entier des attentats aveugles comme ils pouvaient, où ils pouvaient, quand ils pouvaient pourvu que la violence soit spectaculaire, médiatisée et porte la signature et le message de la mouvance. L’EIIL est, au contraire, une véritable armée de professionnels de la violence avec un chef, une mission, des moyens, un agenda et des objectifs précis dans un espace limité. Le seul fait de se désigner sous le nom d’Etat (Dawla) montre bien que ses responsables entendent se donner un ancrage institutionnel (al-Islami) et géographique (fil-Iraq wa ash-Sham). Ce n’était pas du tout le cas de Ben Laden, au moins dans sa version finale des années 1998-2001 qui prônait une violence déterritorialisée contre le monde entier. Mais qui dit État, dit chef de l’État et – en version islamique fondamentaliste – Calife. D’où l’initiative de Baghdadi qui vise aussi bien à faire un pied de nez aux Saoudiens, gardiens autoproclamés des Lieux saints qui l’ont abandonné et dont il conteste ainsi la légitimité, qu’à mettre l’ensemble des musulmans du monde en demeure de choisir leur camp en ayant à accepter ou rejeter son autopromotion. C’est ce qui explique qu’en se proclamant Calife, il abandonne aussitôt dans la dénomination du mouvement la référence territoriale à l’Irak et au Levant pour devenir « seulement » Etat Islamique (Dawlat al-Islami). Mais tout cela révèle plutôt des finasseries calculatrices de survie plutôt qu’une « vision globalisée du djihad ». (…) L’EIIL pose le même problème que l’Etat Taliban en Afghanistan, AQMI au Sahel, les Shebab en Somalie ou Boko Haram au Nigeria. Il s’agit d’armées constituées, souvent en uniforme ou portant des signes de reconnaissance, utilisant des matériels militaires, des véhicules dédiés, des implantations localisables, des moyens de communication identifiables. Cela relève à l’évidence d’une riposte militaire consensuelle et concertée face à laquelle on semble pourtant tergiverser. Pendant plus de dix ans, les Etats-Unis ont placé l’ensemble du monde musulman sous une loi permanente des suspects, détruit irrémédiablement plusieurs pays, espionné la planète entière – y compris leurs plus proches alliés et leurs concitoyens -, harcelé des millions de voyageurs dans les aéroports, multiplié les tortures et les internements illégaux au nom d’une « guerre globale contre la terreur » qui n’a ramené dans ses filets que quelques seconds couteaux et un Ben Laden « retiré des affaires ». Et aujourd’hui que sont parfaitement localisés avec précision une dizaine de milliers de djihadistes arborant fièrement leur drapeau, défilant dans les rues, égorgeant des citoyens américains devant les télévisions, éventrant médiatiquement femmes et enfants, jouant au foot avec les têtes de leurs ennemis, la Présidence américaine vient dire qu’elle « n’a pas encore de stratégie dans la lutte contre le djihadisme »…. Alain Chouet
Je ne pense pas qu’ils se soient retournés contre ces monstres qu’ils ont conçus, enfantés et nourris en armes, en argent, en combattants et en idéologie ! Ou du moins pas encore. Les deux organisations, Daech et Al-Nosra, sont le pur produit de l’idéologie salafiste wahhabite. Les pays occidentaux et leurs supplétifs du Golfe ainsi que la Turquie avaient, dès les premiers mois du déclenchement de la crise syrienne, opté pour armer l’opposition qu’ils avaient décrite comme «modérée». (…) L’Arabie saoudite, le Qatar et la Turquie n’avaient pas lésiné sur les moyens pour favoriser l’émergence de ces groupes terroristes. (…) Les pays qui avaient favorisé l’émergence de ce chaos indescriptible en Syrie, réalisant que le renversement du régime de Damas n’est plus accessible, craignant le retour des dizaines de milliers de djihadistes dans leurs pays respectifs, ont pris peur et commencent à se mobiliser contre eux. Mais ce retournement n’est jusqu’ici que verbal. (…) Officiellement, les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés et supplétifs n’ont cherché à éradiquer Daech que lorsque ce groupe a décapité des journalistes et des citoyens occidentaux d’une façon répugnante et barbare qui a choqué l’opinion publique. Ils ne pouvaient pas ne pas réagir, ou faire semblant de réagir. En s’emparant d’une grande partie du territoire irakien et de la deuxième ville du pays, Mossoul, en infligeant une défaite humiliante à l’armée irakienne et, enfin, en avançant vers le Kurdistan irakien, en s’attaquant aux minorités chrétienne, turkmène, yézidie… (…) Les mouvements qui prônent un pseudo djihad global, par opposition au djihad local, maîtrisent magistralement l’art de la communication et de la propagande, notamment sur les réseaux sociaux. Aqmi est actuellement sur la défensive. Elle est traquée et rejetée partout. Elle ne survit que grâce au racket, au crime organisé, à la contrebande et aux kidnappings générateurs de rançons que certains pays occidentaux continuent malheureusement à payer. Son projet idéologique, si l’on peut dire, n’attire pas grand monde. Il est donc normal que des dissensions apparaissent dans ses rangs. Pourchassée dans le Nord Mali, elle est actuellement repliée sur la Libye, un pays livré au chaos, aux milices armées et aux bandits de grands chemins. Il est normal, en période de repli, que des dissensions apparaissent mais sans lendemain. Il s’agit le plus souvent de disputes entre gangs autour d’un butin ou dans l’espoir d’accaparer une partie du butin saisi par Daech en Irak et évalué à quelque deux milliards de dollars. Je ne pense pas qu’il faudra accorder beaucoup de crédit à ces dissensions appelées à se multiplier. Le vrai danger c’est le chaos en Libye elle-même devenue le sanctuaire de nombreux terroristes ayant sévi en Syrie et en Irak et qui sont rentrés poursuivre leur combat sous des cieux plus cléments. (…) Cela signifie que ces deux pays ne cherchent pas réellement à éradiquer Daech. Car c’est actuellement la Syrie qui combat le plus efficacement ce fléau. Sans la contribution syrienne à la guerre contre ce monstre, Daech serait déjà en Jordanie, au Liban et à la frontière d’Israël. Il faut cependant discerner entre le refus médiatique et la coordination indirecte mais réelle pour faire barrage à cette organisation. Sur ce plan, une coordination réelle et efficace est engagée entre la Syrie et l’Irak. (…) Les Etats-Unis et la France, après avoir clamé que les jours de Bachar étaient comptés, ont quelque réticence à avaler leur chapeau, reconnaître leur erreur de jugement et retrouver le chemin de Damas. C’est une question de temps. Damas a déjà été approché par des émissaires français et américains pour reprendre une coopération secrète entre services. Mais ils se sont vu répondre que cette époque est bel et bien révolue et que si ces deux pays veulent réellement reprendre la coopération d’antan, il faudrait que ça se fasse à travers des structures diplomatiques. Donc pas avant la réouverture des ambassades américaine et française à Damas.(…) On a d’ailleurs remarqué que les pays du Maghreb, qui se disaient «amis du peuple syrien» (Maroc, Tunisie, Libye) n’avaient pas voulu participer à la conférence de Paris. Ils observent avec inquiétude le retour certain de leurs djihadistes qui sèment la terreur chez eux. C’est le cas également des pays occidentaux qui avaient fermé les yeux, voire encouragé le départ de ces djihadistes en Syrie et en Irak dans l’espoir de s’en débarrasser. A lire la presse occidentale, le retour de ces anciens de la Syrie, qui nous rappelle le retour des anciens d’Afghanistan, est le cauchemar de tous les services de sécurité, à tel point que pour certains analystes, la question n’est plus de savoir si ces terroristes vont passer à l’action en Europe même, mais quand et comment. C’est l’histoire de l’arroseur arrosé. (…) Il est certain que la coalition anti-Daech est actuellement inexistante. Elle est médiatique. Obama, qui ne veut pas terminer son deuxième mandat par une guerre, l’a dit ouvertement : c’est une guerre qui va durer des années. Conclusion : il cherche à épuiser la Syrie et l’Irak et à tout faire pour que ces deux pays retrouvent la place qui leur revient sur l’échiquier du Moyen-Orient. (…) C’est un secret de Polichinelle. Tous ces pays avaient juré la perte de l’Etat syrien. En armant ces mouvements djihadistes, ils pensaient ramener la Syrie dans le giron occidental, l’extraire de son alliance avec l’Iran, la Russie et la Chine et la contraindre à une paix au rabais avec Israël. Jusqu’ici, cette stratégie a lamentablement échoué. Et ces monstres qu’ils ont nourris vont se retourner contre eux. Le jour où les Américains vont constater les dégâts de cette stratégie sur leurs propres intérêts et sur les intérêts de leurs supplétifs du Golfe, ils vont arrêter la partie. On n’en est malheureusement pas encore là. (…) Je veux croire qu’il s’agit là d’une manœuvre du président Obama pour contraindre l’Arabie et les pétromonarchies du Golfe à «choisir leur camp» et à cesser leurs pratiques de double langage qui consiste à condamner verbalement le terrorisme tout en soutenant un peu partout dans le monde les groupes terroristes salafistes et les djihadistes en vue de neutraliser les initiatives démocratiques ou l’influence de l’Iran qu’ils considèrent comme également dangereuses pour le maintien de leur pouvoir.» Majed Nehmé
Si vous pouvez tuer un incroyant américain ou européen – en particulier les méchants et sales Français – ou un Australien ou un Canadien, ou tout [...] citoyen des pays qui sont entrés dans une coalition contre l’État islamique, alors comptez sur Allah et tuez-le de n’importe quelle manière. (…) Tuez le mécréant qu’il soit civil ou militaire. (…) Frappez sa tête avec une pierre, égorgez-le avec un couteau, écrasez-le avec votre voiture, jetez-le d’un lieu en hauteur, étranglez-le ou empoisonnez-le. Abou Mohammed al-Adnani (porte-parole de l’EI)
En cette année proclamée par les Nations Unies Année internationale de solidarité avec le peuple palestinien, Israël a choisi d’en faire l’année d’une nouvelle guerre de génocide contre le peuple palestinien. Mahmoud Abbas
Qatar couldn’t care less about the Muslim Brotherhood, it means nothing to them… there is nothing sentimental in this, » just cold, hard realpolitik. They are reassessing the strategic landscape… They realize that, particularly since the recent (ISIS) beheadings, there is a growing international sentiment against Islamism, political Islam, and they don’t want to find themselves on the wrong side,but whether this is permanent remains to be seen (…) If Qatar moves away from supporting the Muslim Brotherhood it’s also going to move away from Hamas, for the simple reason that all the Arabs states will say: ‘If you want to be pro-Palestinian you can support the Palestinian Authority.’ There is an alternative. Professor Hillel Frisch (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies)
Le but est la raison d’être même de cet Etat: propager la terreur. De plus, l’Etat Islamique dispose d’un véritable pouvoir de séduction, notamment par rapport à Al-Qaïda, grâce à ses ressources, à son statut autoproclamé d’Etat, ainsi qu’à sa parfaite utilisation des média et des réseaux sociaux. Ses succès militaires sont ainsi largement relayés et diffusés et participent de son rayonnement dans le monde. (…) Les services de renseignement et les spécialistes effectuent un énorme travail de repérage, mais il suffit qu’une seule personne passe à travers les mailles du filet pour semer la terreur et le chaos. Il y a actuellement plus de 900 français en Irak et en Syrie, prêts à revenir en France. De plus, le message audio de l’Etat Islamique est à mon sens un appel à l’insurrection lancé aux loups solitaires. Le porte-parole de Daech y enjoint tous ceux se sentant en empathie avec leur Etat à prendre les armes, ou, à défaut, à percuter les gens avec leur voiture, ou à les étrangler. Il s’agit d’un véritable appel au meurtre, visant à faire basculer les personnes fragiles psychologiquement ou isolées dans le terrorisme. On ne peut donc jamais être totalement prêt, car tout peut arriver. Les services font ce qu’ils peuvent pour prévenir ces risques, mais l’acte terroriste est par définition imprévisible. Le pire est toujours à attendre, malgré les progrès de la surveillance et la coopération internationale. Il suffit d’une personne influençable, d’un fou isolé, pour qu’un acte terroriste soit commis. Ce genre d’attentat est donc bien plus difficile à prévoir qu’une action coordonnée, structurée et financée par Al-Qaïda, par exemple. (…) Le terrorisme a énormément évolué, et un attentat comme celui du 11 septembre appartient au XXème siècle et n’arriverait plus aujourd’hui. Les Etats peuvent contrecarrer ce type d’action, et tout ce qui est organisé peut être déjoué puis puni par notre système législatif. Aujourd’hui, le terrorisme prend plutôt la forme du loup solitaire, un concept théorisé aux Etats-Unis par le FBI pour qualifier les attaques des groupuscules d’extrême-droite suprématistes. Ces groupes souhaitaient multiplier les actions terroristes, tout en limitant la possibilité d’arrestation. Ils ont donc commencé à créer de petites cellules, de une à trois personnes, très difficiles à identifier. Hugues Moutouh
Les autorités des pays du Golfe ont traîné des pieds face à Daech (le sobriquet en arabe de l’EI) « afin de ne pas trop heurter une partie de l’opinion publique séduite par la spectaculaire progression du groupe djihadiste, à un moment de crise d’identité des sunnites dans la région », explique le politologue Laurent Bonnefoy, chercheur au Ceri Sciences-Po.  Les monarchies de la région ont toutes les raisons d’être inquiètes : l’EI compterait dans ses rangs, selon certaines sources, plus de 5000 combattants originaires des pays du Golfe, dont quelque 4000 Saoudiens -Il ne faut pas oublier que 15 des 19 kamikazes des attentats du 11 septembre 2001 venaient d’Arabie saoudite. C’est pourquoi Riyad a tardé à s’engager militairement contre l’EI … L’Express
« Jeune-délinquant-Arabe-Syrie-attentat-France-terrorisme-antiterrorisme », toute l’artillerie sémantique est déballée afin de finir de nous convaincre que nous avons toutes les raisons d’avoir peur. Nemmouche n’est pas un monstre. C’est un sale type, narcissique et paumé, prêt à tout pour avoir son heure de gloire. Ses raisons d’aller en Syrie se rapprochaient probablement plus de celles qui, à un certain degré, mènent des adolescents américains à abattre toute leur classe ou certains de nos contemporains à participer à une émission de télé-réalité, qu’à une quelconque lecture du Coran. Ce qu’il incarne, c’est une forme particulièrement triviale de nihilisme. Il est, à cet égard, un pur produit occidental, labellisé et manufacturé par tout ce que la France peut faire subir à ses pauvres comme petites humiliations, stigmatisations et injustices. L’empilement sans fin de nouvelles lois antiterroristes en est l’une des facettes. In fine, tout le discours antiterroriste est ce qui auréole un Nemmouche de gloire. Sans cela, il aurait été considéré pour ce qu’il est, un pauvre type qui assassine des gens pour passer à la télé. En retour, on peut donner toujours plus de pouvoirs aux policiers et aux juges de l’antiterrorisme. Pouvoirs qui ne permettront évidemment pas d’arrêter plus de Nemmouche mais qui, en revanche, resserrent encore un peu plus le maillage policier et le contrôle de la population. Ces nouvelles prérogatives concernent des restrictions de circulation et d’expression pour certaines personnes dont le profil sera considéré à risque par un ou plusieurs Big Brothers bienveillants : la possibilité pour des parents d’inscrire leurs enfants aux fichiers des personnes recherchées ; une association de malfaiteur à une seule personne – un humour auquel Nemmouche sera des plus sensibles. Et, glissé subrepticement dans le tas, un arsenal de pénalisation de la cybercriminalité qui s’attaquera davantage à des initiatives de libre information comme WikiLeaks, plus qu’à des poseurs de bombe sur Internet. J’admets avoir commis une erreur en collaborant avec le service de police politique qu’est l’antiterrorisme. Cela va à l’opposé des positions et des combats que représente mon engagement de journaliste. Je m’en excuse auprès des familles de ceux que cette négligence a mis en danger. Pierre Torres ( ex-otage en Syrie)
Mon livre est provoqué par le fait que dans le système médiatique, dans les milieux intellectuels, chez les académiciens, il est accepté de cibler l’islam et les musulmans en général comme notre problème de civilisation (…) De Claude Guéant à Manuel Valls, sous la dissemblance partisane, d’une droite extrémisée à une gauche droitisée, nous voici donc confrontés à la continuité des obsessions xénophobes et, particulièrement, antimusulmanes (…) Aujourd’hui, et cela a été conquis de haute lutte, nous ne pouvons pas dire sans que cela provoque de réaction – il y a un souci de civilisation qui serait le judaïsme, les Juifs en France – . Eh bien je réclame la même chose pour ces compatriotes qui sont au coeur de ce qu’est notre peuple. (…) Je ne défends pas ceux qui trahissent leur religion en commettant des crimes, je défends nos compatriotes qui n’y sont pour rien et qui sont en même temps stigmatisés ou oubliés. Edwy Plenel
Sur ces questions Mandela a été très ferme (…) En 2001, aux Etats-Unis, lors d’une conversation avec Thomas Friedman, un journaliste américain spécialisé dans le Proche-Orient, il lui dira: « C’est peut-être étrange pour vous d’observer la situation en Palestine ou, plus exactement, la structure des relations politiques et culturelles entre les Palestiniens et les Israéliens, comme un système d’apartheid. »car, dit-il, « les Palestiniens ne luttent pas pour un « Etat » mais pour la liberté, la libération et l’égalité, exactement comme nous avons lutté pour la liberté en Afrique du Sud. » En revanche, il soulignait, sur les questions de la justice, de la terre, de l’occupation: « Israël a montré qu’il n’était pas encore prêt à rendre ce qu’il avait occupé en 1967, que les colonies restent, que Jérusalem est toujours sous souveraineté exclusivement israélienne et les Palestiniens n’ont pas d’Etat indépendant mais sont sous domination économique israélienne, avec un contrôle israélien des frontières, de la terre, de l’air, de l’eau, de la mer. (…) Israël, c’était  la conclusion de Mandela, ne pense pas à un « Etat » mais à une « séparation » avec des guillemets qui renvoient à l’apartheid. Je voudrais rappeler cela pour un peu déranger etmontrer l’actualité de ces combats. Edwy Plenel
Il ne s’agit pas ici de transformer Mandela en héraut du combat pour les droits nationaux des Palestiniens, même s’il n’a jamais fait mystère de son soutien à la lutte contre l’occupation israélienne. Mandela a toujours été, sur ce terrain, beaucoup plus en retrait que l’archevêque Desmond Tutu, qui depuis de longues années soutient la campagne internationale de boycott de l’État d’Israël, qu’il qualifie, à l’instar d’autres dirigeants sud-africains, d’État d’apartheid. Tel n’est pas le cas de Mandela, contrairement à ce que croient ceux qui ont pris pour argent comptant un “Mémo de Nelson Mandela à Thomas Friedman” dénonçant “l’apartheid israélien”, qui est en réalité un exercice de style rédigé par Arjan el-Fassed. Julien Salingue
The main purpose of the Mandela-memo was to respond in a satirical way to Thomas Friedman using the exact same style and even phrases he uses in his columns. Obviously, the ‘mock memo’ had been forwarded to several e-mail lists containing the memo, which originally included the title “Mandela’s First Memo to Thomas Friedman” and a byline “by Arjan El Fassed”, but eventually was forwarded without my name and sometimes without title. I posted the ‘mock memo’ myself on 30 March on an mailinglist of Al-Awda. Despite this, I’ve seen it several times being posted on the same list, something that gives you an idea of the lack of attention many people give to material they forward. In various posts I read, the subject title was changed for example, “Mandela supports…”, “must read”, etc. Perhaps it was wishful thinking. If Nelson Mandela would seriously have written to the New York Times, wouldn’t the New York Times just publish it? Moreover, I believe Nelson Mandela has better things to do then responding to columns written by Thomas Friedman. Arjan El Fassed
L’enquête progresse sur le document publié par Mediapart pour accuser Nicolas Sarkozy d’avoir reçu de l’argent de la Libye sous le régime de Kadhafi. Les derniers éléments recueillis par les juges d’instruction parisiens René Cros et Emmanuelle Legrand renforcent le soupçon d’une falsification, sans que l’origine d’un éventuel montage puisse à ce stade être précisée.(…) Dans un rapport remis aux juges le 7 juillet dernier, les gendarmes évoquent par ailleurs le témoignage d’un ancien diplomate devenu chercheur, spécialiste de la Libye, consulté sur la forme du document. Celui-ci leur a déclaré avoir « reçu les confidences d’un journaliste du Canard enchaîné » qui lui aurait indiqué que l’hebdomadaire satirique détenait la même note « depuis 2008 » mais qu’il n’avait pas souhaité le publier « par principe de précaution », eu égard aux incertitudes sur son authenticité. Hervé Gattegno (Vanity Fair)
« Il y a un problème de l’islam en France », n’hésite pas à proclamer un académicien, regrettant même « que l’on abandonne ce souci de civilisation au Front national ». À cette banalisation intellectuelle d’un discours semblable à celui qui, avant la catastrophe européenne, affirmait l’existence d’un « problème juif » en France, ce livre répond en prenant le parti de nos compatriotes d’origine, de culture ou de croyance musulmanes contre ceux qui les érigent en boucs émissaires de nos inquiétudes et de nos incertitudes. L’enjeu n’est pas seulement de solidarité mais de fidélité. Pour les musulmans donc, comme l’on écrirait pour les juifs, pour les Noirs et pour les Roms, ou, tout simplement, pour la France.» Edwy Plenel
C’est notre voix, à ceux qui ne sont pas musulmans, qui manque (…) Avant de leur dire « montrez que vous êtes contre le terrorisme », à nous de montrer que nous combattons toute cette islamophobie, bienséante, banale qui se répand hélas trop souvent dans le débat public. Edwy Plenel
Dans cet ouvrage en forme de brûlot contre les idées reçues, le journaliste s’élève adroitement contre le poncif selon lequel, citant dans le texte l’académicien Alain Finkielkraut, « il y a un problème de l’islam en France ». Cet essai démasque notamment les tentatives dispersées d’une essentialisation « en bloc ». Dont la conséquence pratique consiste à figer « tout ce qui ressort, peu ou prou, de l’islam dans une menace indistincte », légitimant au passage « l’exclusion et l’effacement » de nos compatriotes musulmans. Tout en constatant le « poids d’un passé colonial jamais vraiment soldé », l’auteur prend le contre-pied de la doxa xénophobe en jugeant que « la question musulmane détient aujourd’hui la clé de notre rapport au monde et aux autres ». L’Humanité
Un de nos compatriotes, tombé entre les mains d’un groupe de barbares fanatisés, vient d’être assassiné et a rejoint ainsi la liste des otages qui ont servi d’exutoire au nom d’un prétendu islam dans lequel aucun de nous ne se reconnaît nullement. Nous musulmans de France, ne pouvons qu’exprimer notre répulsion et dénoncer avec la dernière énergie des crimes abominables perpétrés au nom d’une religion dont les fondements mêmes sont la paix, la miséricorde et le respect de la vie. Nous dénions à ces êtres sauvages le droit de se revendiquer de l’islam et de s’exprimer en notre nom. Les supplices et la mort qu’ils ont infligés à nos frères chrétiens, yazidis ou musulmans, en Syrie, en Irak, au Nigeria et ailleurs, nous ont révulsés et nous ont rendus encore plus malheureux de ne pouvoir faire rien d’autre que d’exprimer notre solidarité et notre immense compassion. Faut-il pour autant se contenter d’exprimer notre solidarité sans aller plus loin dans l’expression de notre fraternité? Non! Car il est de notre devoir, au nom précisément de cette religion de paix et du véritable islam, d’appeler tous les musulmans qui veulent rester fidèles à ces valeurs cardinales, à exprimer, là où ils sont et quelles que soient les circonstances, leur dégoût devant cette ultime manifestation de la barbarie. Certes, cette majorité de musulmans n’est pas toujours audible, faute d’avoir accès aux médias, ou dans l’incapacité de créer elle-même ses propres outils de communication, pour rétablir l’image déformée que l’on renvoie d’eux et qui en fait soit des djihadistes, soit des fondamentalistes mais jamais des citoyens ordinaires soucieux de vivre leur foi dans le cadre des lois de la République et de sauvegarder les traditions et les cultures qui constituent chaque citoyen français dans la diversité de ses origines. Collectif de musulmans
 Les musulmans de France font bloc contre le terrorisme et la « barbarie » La Croix
On se souvient, il y a quelques semaines, des 500 manifestations organisées en France pendant l’opération défense israélienne ‘’bordure protectrice’’. L’immense majorité des protestataires dans ces cortèges étaient de confession musulmane. La haine, la rage contre Israël, les juifs et la France était partout bien présente, palpable, ce n’est plus à démontrer aujourd’hui.(…) En revanche, lorsqu’il s’agit comme hier pour les musulmans de protester contre la barbarie de l’Etat islamiste et des djihadistes, de protester contre le meurtre abject d’Hervé Gourdel, il n’y a exactement P.E.R.S.O.N.N.E. Devant la grande mosquée de Paris, il devait en effet y avoir tout au plus 300 individus qui, si on retire les journalistes, politiques et autres bobos Ve arrondissement, il ne devait y avoir guère plus d’une centaine de musulmans, c’est-à-dire grosso modo ceux sortant de la prière de la grande mosquée de Paris le vendredi. Pourtant, comme d’habitude, la propagande médiatique a fonctionné à plein régime afin de promouvoir cet évènement. En 24h, tous les journalistes ont appelé à cette manifestation sur toutes les chaines, dans tous les journaux : bilan 300 personnes. Si on considère qu’il y a près de 2000 djihadistes ‘’français’’ auprès de l’Etat islamique, le nombre de manifestants était bien moindre, ce qui est dramatique, alors qu’il y a en France des millions de musulmans. Europe-Israël
C’est bien Obama et non Bush qui a interrompu le processus de stabilisation existant en Irak depuis le « surge » de 2008 en quittant l’Irak avec précipitation et en laissant tout le pouvoir aux chiites inféodés à l’Iran, ce qui a démantelé tout l’effort entamé par David Petraeus commencé sous Bush et gagné en faisant alliance avec les tribus sunnites. C’est bien Obama et non Bush qui a laissé faire en Syrie en 2013, refusant d’armer les résistants dits « laïcs », et fermant les yeux sur le financement des groupes islamistes (dont l’ancêtre de l’E.I actuel) opéré par l’Arabie Saoudite et le Qatar aujourd’hui apeurés de voir leur pouvoir féodal vaciller sous les coups de boutoir d’un mouvement islamique parfaitement fidèles aux critères historiques de l’islam depuis le début, l’islam étant par exemple une religion de « paix » dans la mesure où l’on accepte de vivre sous son joug : « que la paix (de l’islam) soit avec toi » voilà ce que veut dire son salut et non pas cette pâle imitation du christianisme, certains imams parlant même « d’amour » ce qui est d’un risible sans pareille lorsque l’on observe le nombre infime d’occurrence en la matière dans leur texte sacré… Que l’Occident soit à l’heure actuelle son défenseur intransigeant (à coup de drones également) en dit long non seulement sur son masochisme mais surtout sa prétention à transformer tout taureau radical en boeuf aseptisé. En tout cas il semble bien qu’il n’existe pas d’islam modéré comme il n’a pas existé de communisme modéré, à moins d’abandonner la dictature du prolétariat, ou la « charia » comme le veulent certains en Tunisie, au Maroc, en Égypte, au Yémen… Wait and see. Lucien SA Oulahbib

C’est la faute à Voltaire !

Alors qu’à coup de « selfies sanglants » les bouchers djihadistes lâchés dans la nature par l’Administration Obama appellent nos concitoyens, de ce côté comme de l’autre côté  de l’Atlantique, à littéralement « égorger nos fils et nos compagnes » …

Pendant qu’à la tribune de l’ONU, nos amis palestiniens dénoncent une « nouvelle guerre de génocide » lancée devinez par qui et que sans compter la perspective de l’arrivée du virus ébola à La Mecque, les argentiers du jihad tremblent eux aussi à Riadh comme à Doha devant les effets en retour du virus salafiste que depuis des décennies ils propagent de par leur monde …

Et qu’après les quelque 500 manifestations contre « l’horreur barbare » à Gaza de l’été et la massive manifestation d’au moins 300 personnes à la sortie de la Grande Mosquée de Paris de vendredi, « les musulmans de France font bloc contre le terrorisme et la ‘barbarie’  » …

Comment ne pas voir, avec l’ancien journaliste trotskyste et autre notoire maitre-faussaire à ses heures perdues Edwy Plenel ou le journaliste et ancien otage en Syrie Pierre Torres …

La grande faute d’un Occident dominateur et colonialiste face à ces nouveaux juifs que sont aujourd’hui les musulmans, pourchassés de la Syrie à l’Irak et de l’Afrique à nos banlieues ?

Edwy Plenel : misère du trotsko-djihadisme
Pour Mediapart, l’Occident est coupable de tout
Luc Rosenzweig
Causeur
25 septembre 2014

Le fondateur de Médiapart, en opération de promotion de son dernier opus Pour les musulmans, promène sa moustache et son sourire crispé sur les plateaux de télévisions et dans les studios des principales radios. Son message est simple : tout le mal qui advient aujourd’hui dans ce bas monde est le résultat, en dernière instance, de l’indignité de l’homme blanc dominateur, marqué pour l’éternité de la flétrissure colonialiste, qui se transmet de génération en génération. Les musulmans sont, de son point de vue, les victimes absolues de ce désordre universel, en Irak, en Syrie, comme dans les banlieues de nos métropoles. J’exagère ? Ceux qui ont regardé « Ce soir ou jamais », le soir du 19 septembre, on pu le voir voler au secours de l’ex-otage en Syrie Pierre Torres, qui avait écrit, dans une tribune publiée par Le Monde : « Mohammed Nemmouche est un pur produit occidental, labellisé et manufacturé par tout ce que la France peut faire subir à ses pauvres comme petites humiliations, stigmatisations et injustices. L’empilement sans fin de nouvelles lois antiterroristes en est l’une des facettes. ». Interpellé à ce sujet par Elisabeth Lévy, avant que Torrès ait pu bredouiller un semblant de justification, Plenel s’exclame : « C’est le passage le plus fort et le plus digne de ce texte ! ». Ce tortionnaire d’Alep, ce tueur de juifs de Bruxelles est donc « notre monstre », à qui il est même dénié d’avoir plus d’autonomie de pensée et d’action que celle octroyée par Mary Shelley à la créature du docteur Frankenstein.

Le jeudi suivant, c’est le jour d’Edwy aux « Matins » de France Culture, où l’excellent Marc Voinchet lui offre un créneau hebdomadaire pour administrer aux auditeurs une dose concentrée de ses délires idéologiques. Ce jeudi là, le 25 septembre 2014, la France est sous le choc de l’assassinat, par égorgement, du guide de haute montagne Hervé Gourdel par les émules algériens de Daech. Comment allait-il s’en sortir ? Difficile, dans ce cas là, de mettre la barbarie des assassins sur le compte des misères subies par des jeunes victimes de harcèlement policier, de contrôles au faciès à répétition, de déréliction sociale dans des cités-ghettos. Lorsque l’actualité vous envoie un uppercut, il convient, en bonne logique plenelienne, de botter en touche dans le champ de l’Histoire : «  C’est reparti comme en 14 !» claironne Edwy. Le scandale du jour, pour lui, ce n’est pas l’assassinat de sang froid, dans des conditions horribles d’un guide de montagne accompagnant des alpinistes algériens dans le massif du Djurdjura, mais l’union nationale, sincère et spontanée, qui s’est révélée pour condamner ce crime, et le soutien quasi-unanime de la classe politique française à la riposte militaire aux égorgeurs de Daech. L’émotion légitime qui nous étreint relève, selon lui d’un « bourrage de crâne » à l’image de celui, dénoncé jadis par les fondateurs du Canard Enchaîné, en 1915, en pleine guerre de 14… À propos de bourrage de crâne, Plenel passe bien évidemment sous silence celui subi par ces jeunes déboussolés qui vont chercher dans le djihad un sens à leur mort. Nous sommes « historiquement » forcément coupable de tout, y compris de la guerre de religion qui oppose les sunnites au chiites dans un affrontement sauvage qui dure depuis près de trente ans au Moyen-Orient. Plenel, et ses amis de Mediapart condamnent toutes les opérations conduites pour limiter l’expansion de cette idéologie mortifère, au Mali, comme en Irak. Ce n’est pas la conduite stratégique et tactique de ces interventions qui sont critiquées – ce qui est parfaitement légitime – mais leur principe même. Quoi que nous fassions, c’est le mal, renversement de la vision binaire et manichéenne des Ronald Reagan et George W. Bush…

Plenel veut de l’Histoire ? On va lui en donner. Plongeons-nous, par exemple dans le passé du trotskisme, dont il persiste à se réclamer, dans sa version «  culturelle », sinon organisationnelle. L’estampille stalinienne de l’expression « hitléro-trotskiste » ne doit pas nous empêcher, comme l’ont fait tous les historiens sérieux, de revisiter le passé de cette mouvance pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale. Dès 1938, le ton est donné par le patron, Léon Trotsky, dans son article «  La lutte anti-impérialiste » : « Il règne aujourd’hui au Brésil un régime semi-fasciste qu’aucun révolutionnaire ne peut considérer sans haine. Supposons cependant que, demain, l’Angleterre entre dans un conflit militaire avec le Brésil. Je vous le demande : de quel côté sera la classe ouvrière ? Je répondrai pour ma part que, dans ce cas, je serai du côté du Brésil “fasciste” contre l’Angleterre “démocratique”. Pourquoi ? Parce que, dans le conflit qui les opposerait, ce n’est pas de démocratie ou de fascisme qu’il s’agirait. Si l’Angleterre gagnait, elle installerait à Rio de Janeiro un autre fasciste, et enchaînerait doublement le Brésil. Si au contraire le Brésil l’emportait, cela pourrait donner un élan considérable à la conscience démocratique et nationale de ce pays et conduire au renversement de la dictature de Vargas ». Après l’assassinat de Trotsky, ses émules de la IVème internationale mettront cette ligne en application, en substituant l’Allemagne hitlérienne au Brésil. Les trotskistes français, dans leur grande majorité1, et jusqu’à la Libération pratiqueront l’entrisme dans les partis collaborationnistes, notamment le Rassemblement national populaire de Marcel Déat, et prôneront le « défaitisme révolutionnaire » face à l’Allemagne nazie. Voici ce qu’on pouvait lire dans La Vérité, organe du mouvement trotskyste, le 22 août 1944, alors que la bataille pour vaincre Hitler faisait rage. Sous le titre «  Pourquoi nous n’avons pas adhéré à la Résistance », on peut lire cette adresse à la classe ouvrière française : « Nous savons que ce programme n’est pas le vôtre. Vous croyez devoir maintenir votre Union Sacrée avec les partis de la bourgeoisie, et prendre à votre compte leurs buts de guerre. Nous croyons qu’une telle politique creuse le fossé entre les ouvriers français et allemands, qu’elle a, entre autres résultats celui de souder les ouvriers allemands autour de leur propre bourgeoisie, de prolonger par là l’existence de Hitler, de paralyser la révolution en Allemagne et en Europe ».

Les temps ont changé, mais l’esprit reste le même : l’ennemi, ce n’est pas le fasciste, aujourd’hui le djihadisme massacreur et égorgeur, mais ceux qui s’unissent pour le combattre.

Une poignée de militants trotskistes, dont le plus connu est David Rousset, rompirent avec cette ligne aberrante, participèrent à la Résistance, notamment dans le travail militant en direction des soldats allemands. Certains d’entre eux furent fusillés et déportés. Mais, comme les poissons volants, ils ne constituent pas la majorité de l’espèce… ↩

Voir également:

Islam : Edwy Plenel publie un plaidoyer « Pour les musulmans »
Le journaliste et essayiste Edwy Plenel publie un livre-plaidoyer contre ceux qui stigmatisent les musulmans de France.
RTL  avec AFP
16/09/2014

Edwy Plenel lance « un cri d’alarme et un geste de solidarité » pour les musulmans de France. Dans son livre-plaidoyer « Pour les musulmans » (éd. La Découverte), qui sort jeudi 18 septembre, le journaliste et essayiste fustige ceux qui ciblent l’islam « comme notre problème de civilisation ».

C’est une petite phrase du philosophe Alain Finkielkraut qui a suscité l’ire du fondateur du site d’information Mediapart et l’a conduit à rédiger ce court essai « à contre-courant », tracé d’une plume vive et engagée: « Il y a un problème de l’islam en France ».

« Mon livre est provoqué par le fait que dans le système médiatique, dans les milieux intellectuels, chez les académiciens, il est accepté de cibler l’islam et les musulmans en général comme notre problème de civilisation », explique Edwy Plenel.

L’auteur poursuit de sa vindicte l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Claude Guéant, qui avait considéré comme un problème « l’accroissement du nombre des fidèles » musulmans – ils seraient 3,5 à 5 millions en France selon les estimations. Ou encore Manuel Valls qui, avant d’accéder à Matignon, avait selon Edwy Plenel posé la question « de la compatibilité de l’islam avec la démocratie ».

« De Claude Guéant à Manuel Valls, sous la dissemblance partisane, d’une droite extrémisée à une gauche droitisée, nous voici donc confrontés à la continuité des obsessions xénophobes et, particulièrement, antimusulmanes », écrit le pamphlétaire.

Le titre de son ouvrage renvoie à « Pour les Juifs », article qu’Emile Zola rédigea en 1896, vingt mois avant son fameux « J’accuse » en défense du capitaine Dreyfus. « Aujourd’hui, et cela a été conquis de haute lutte, nous ne pouvons pas dire sans que cela provoque de réaction +il y a un souci de civilisation qui serait le judaïsme, les Juifs en France+. Eh bien je réclame la même chose pour ces compatriotes (musulmans, NDLR) qui sont au coeur de ce qu’est notre peuple », dit Edwy Plenel, précisant que son livre aurait pu s’intituler « Pour les minorités » ou « Pour la France ».

« Je ne défends pas ceux qui trahissent leur religion en commettant des crimes, je défends nos compatriotes qui n’y sont pour rien et qui sont en même temps stigmatisés ou oubliés », confie l’essayiste. Tout en rêvant d’un retour à la « laïcité originelle » inscrite dans la loi de 1905 qui, « loin d’une crispation face à l’affirmation des cultes minoritaires, signifiait leur reconnaissance », écrit-il.

« J’ai commis l’erreur de collaborer avec les services de l’antiterrorisme français »
Pierre Torres (Journaliste, ancien otage en Syrie)
Le Monde
17.09.2014

Juin 2014, me voilà au siège de la Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI) avec mes anciens co-otages. Nous sommes face à plein de gens sûrement très importants qui nous expliquent en chœur qu’ils ont Nemmouche et qu’il était peut-être l’un de nos geôliers en Syrie. Ils précisent que, en théorie, ils ont la possibilité de le garder encore des jours et des jours mais que bon, comme ils l’ont déjà depuis un moment, ils vont devoir le refourguer aux Belges.

On sait que la police peut à peu près tout faire avec ceux que l’on soupçonne d’être terroristes, mais là, il y aurait urgence et il faut que nous rappliquions dare-dare pour déposer. Certes, l’oiseau en question n’est pas près de s’envoler et quand bien même il aurait participé à mon enlèvement, quoi qu’il arrive, il n’est pas tout à fait près de sortir de prison. Mon témoignage n’a donc non seulement aucun intérêt pratique à ce moment-là, mais il n’en a aucun dans l’absolu.

GRAVITÉ DE LA SITUATION

Parmi nos hôtes d’importance, Camille Hennetier, procureure, qui dirige le parquet antiterroriste. Elle nous promet qu’aucune instruction ne sera ouverte contre ce suspect, au sujet de notre enlèvement, tant qu’un danger pèsera sur les otages occidentaux. Elle attendra que la crise soit finie. Elle comprend la gravité de la situation. Elle nous rassure.

Trois mois s’écoulent jusqu’à ce qu’une lecture audacieuse de l’actualité pousse on ne sait qui à décréter que le temps était venu de révéler le contenu de nos dépositions. Qu’il est facile d’être audacieux lorqu’on n’est pas en Syrie enfermé entre quatre murs !

Depuis l’assassinat de James Foley, le 19 août, de nombreuses informations ont fuité et de nombreux mensonges ont été proférés. Cela au détriment des familles de ceux encore détenus en Syrie. Les mensonges peuvent émaner de n’importe qui, pas les fuites. Ou plutôt si, nos dépositions ont pu fuiter par n’importe quel bout de l’antiterrorisme français mais pas sans l’aval et l’intérêt de tous.

Aux questions telles que : « Reconnaissez-vous Medhi Nemmouche ? Est-il le sarcastique et pétulant jeune homme que l’on dit ? », il me faut répondre par une autre question : pourquoi le parquet, la Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure ou on ne sait quel juge, donnent-il accès à des dépositions qui, un jour ou l’autre, seront légalement rendues publiques ? Lequel d’entre eux a-t-il perdu à Action ou vérité ?

OPÉRATION DE PROMOTION

Cela relève évidemment de l’opération de promotion. Promotion de quoi ? Nous ne le savons pas encore – promouvoir la nouvelle loi antiterroriste en discussion au Parlement, démontrer que « les services » servent à autre chose qu’à mettre en examen des adolescentes de 14 ans « pour association de malfaiteurs en relation avec une entreprise terroriste » –, nous verrons bien. Ce qui est certain, c’est que la seule chose qui puisse justifier la mise en danger des autres otages, c’est que quelqu’un ou quelque institution policière a vu là la possibilité de se faire mousser.

Du point de vue des organisateurs de cette fuite, l’opération a bien fonctionné. « Jeune-délinquant-Arabe-Syrie-attentat-France-terrorisme-antiterrorisme », toute l’artillerie sémantique est déballée afin de finir de nous convaincre que nous avons toutes les raisons d’avoir peur. Nemmouche n’est pas un monstre. C’est un sale type, narcissique et paumé, prêt à tout pour avoir son heure de gloire. Ses raisons d’aller en Syrie se rapprochaient probablement plus de celles qui, à un certain degré, mènent des adolescents américains à abattre toute leur classe ou certains de nos contemporains à participer à une émission de télé-réalité, qu’à une quelconque lecture du Coran. Ce qu’il incarne, c’est une forme particulièrement triviale de nihilisme. Il est, à cet égard, un pur produit occidental, labellisé et manufacturé par tout ce que la France peut faire subir à ses pauvres comme petites humiliations, stigmatisations et injustices. L’empilement sans fin de nouvelles lois antiterroristes en est l’une des facettes.

In fine, tout le discours antiterroriste est ce qui auréole un Nemmouche de gloire. Sans cela, il aurait été considéré pour ce qu’il est, un pauvre type qui assassine des gens pour passer à la télé. En retour, on peut donner toujours plus de pouvoirs aux policiers et aux juges de l’antiterrorisme. Pouvoirs qui ne permettront évidemment pas d’arrêter plus de Nemmouche mais qui, en revanche, resserrent encore un peu plus le maillage policier et le contrôle de la population.

Ces nouvelles prérogatives concernent des restrictions de circulation et d’expression pour certaines personnes dont le profil sera considéré à risque par un ou plusieurs Big Brothers bienveillants : la possibilité pour des parents d’inscrire leurs enfants aux fichiers des personnes recherchées ; une association de malfaiteur à une seule personne – un humour auquel Nemmouche sera des plus sensibles. Et, glissé subrepticement dans le tas, un arsenal de pénalisation de la cybercriminalité qui s’attaquera davantage à des initiatives de libre information comme WikiLeaks, plus qu’à des poseurs de bombe sur Internet.

J’admets avoir commis une erreur en collaborant avec le service de police politique qu’est l’antiterrorisme. Cela va à l’opposé des positions et des combats que représente mon engagement de journaliste. Je m’en excuse auprès des familles de ceux que cette négligence a mis en danger.

Voir encore:

Le masque est définitivement tombé. Fiasco absolu de la manifestation des musulmans contre le meurtre d’Hervé Gourdel et la barbarie de l’Etat islamique (photos)
Europe-Israël
sept 27, 20149

On se souvient, il y a quelques semaines, des 500 manifestations organisées en France pendant l’opération défense israélienne ‘’bordure protectrice’’. L’immense majorité des protestataires dans ces cortèges étaient de confession musulmane. La haine, la rage contre Israël, les juifs et la France était partout bien présente, palpable, ce n’est plus à démontrer aujourd’hui.

On se souvient également des très nombreux débordements des supporters algériens pourtant ‘’français’’, descendant par centaines de milliers dans les rues des villes de France et occasionnant, comme toujours, de nombreuses exactions sur les biens et sur les personnes.

On se souvient enfin des prières de rue qui mobilisaient des milliers d’individus, occupant sans vergogne des rues entières au mépris des lois, de la culture française et du bien-être des habitants locaux.

En revanche, lorsqu’il s’agit comme hier pour les musulmans de protester contre la barbarie de l’Etat islamiste et des djihadistes, de protester contre le meurtre abject d’Hervé Gourdel, il n’y a exactement P.E.R.S.O.N.N.E.

Devant la grande mosquée de Paris, il devait en effet y avoir tout au plus 300 individus qui, si on retire les journalistes, politiques et autres bobos Ve arrondissement, il ne devait y avoir guère plus d’une centaine de musulmans, c’est-à-dire grosso modo ceux sortant de la prière de la grande mosquée de Paris le vendredi.
Pourtant, comme d’habitude, la propagande médiatique a fonctionné à plein régime afin de promouvoir cet évènement. En 24h, tous les journalistes ont appelé à cette manifestation sur toutes les chaines, dans tous les journaux : bilan 300 personnes.
Si on considère qu’il y a près de 2000 djihadistes ‘’français’’ auprès de l’Etat islamique, le nombre de manifestants était bien moindre, ce qui est dramatique, alors qu’il y a en France des millions de musulmans.

La situation est donc claire et les masques sont définitivement tombés. Il n’est en aucun cas outrancier de dire que les musulmans vivant en France n’ont aucune intention de protester contre l’ignoble Etat islamique et par conséquent, à des degrés divers, se sentent solidaires de celui-ci.

Un collectif de musulmans de France : «Nous sommes aussi de “sales Français”»
Home FIGARO VOX Vox Societe
Par vidéos FigaroVox
25/09/2014

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE- Ils sont médecins, politiques, avocats, français et musulmans. Ils expriment avec la plus grande force la répulsion que leur inspire l’assassinat d’Hervé Gourdel.

Bariza Khiari (première vice-présidente du Sénat), Madjid Si Hocine (médecin et militant associatif), Saad Khiari (cinéaste-auteur), Ghaleb Bencheikh (président de la conférence mondiale des religions pour la paix), Farid Yaker (président du Forum France Algérie), Kamel Meziti (écrivain), Dounia Bouzar (anthropologue du fait religieux), Said Branine (journaliste rédacteur en chef d’Oumma.com), Humeyra Filiz (représentante de l’EMISCO auprés du conseil de l’Europe), l’ONG COJEP internationale, Anissa Meziti (présidente de l’association Agir contre le racisme), Abderahim Hamdani ( financier), Yasser Khaznadar (gériatre), Marwane Ben Yahmed (directeur de la publication de Jeune Afrique), Elie Melki (traducteur), Majed Nehmé (directeur de la rédaction d’Afrique Asie), Adel Kachermi (courtier en aviation), Kamel Kabtane (recteur de la Mosquée de Lyon), Faycal Megherbi (avocat au barreau de Paris), Kamel Maouche (avocat au barreau de Paris)

Un de nos compatriotes, tombé entre les mains d’un groupe de barbares fanatisés, vient d’être assassiné et a rejoint ainsi la liste des otages qui ont servi d’exutoire au nom d’un prétendu islam dans lequel aucun de nous ne se reconnaît nullement. Nous musulmans de France, ne pouvons qu’exprimer notre répulsion et dénoncer avec la dernière énergie des crimes abominables perpétrés au nom d’une religion dont les fondements mêmes sont la paix, la miséricorde et le respect de la vie.

Nous dénions à ces êtres sauvages le droit de se revendiquer de l’islam et de s’exprimer en notre nom. Les supplices et la mort qu’ils ont infligés à nos frères chrétiens, yazidis ou musulmans, en Syrie, en Irak, au Nigeria et ailleurs, nous ont révulsés et nous ont rendus encore plus malheureux de ne pouvoir faire rien d’autre que d’exprimer notre solidarité et notre immense compassion.

Faut-il pour autant se contenter d’exprimer notre solidarité sans aller plus loin dans l’expression de notre fraternité? Non! Car il est de notre devoir, au nom précisément de cette religion de paix et du véritable islam, d’appeler tous les musulmans qui veulent rester fidèles à ces valeurs cardinales, à exprimer, là où ils sont et quelles que soient les circonstances, leur dégoût devant cette ultime manifestation de la barbarie.

Certes, cette majorité de musulmans n’est pas toujours audible, faute d’avoir accès aux médias, ou dans l’incapacité de créer elle-même ses propres outils de communication, pour rétablir l’image déformée que l’on renvoie d’eux et qui en fait soit des djihadistes, soit des fondamentalistes mais jamais des citoyens ordinaires soucieux de vivre leur foi dans le cadre des lois de la République et de sauvegarder les traditions et les cultures qui constituent chaque citoyen français dans la diversité de ses origines.

Nous, Français de France et de confession musulmane, tenons à exprimer avec force notre totale solidarité avec toutes les victimes de cette horde de barbares, soldats perdus d’un prétendu État islamique, et dénonçons avec la dernière énergie toutes les exactions commises au nom d’une idéologie meurtrière qui se cache derrière la religion islamique en confisquant son vocabulaire.

Personne ne peut s’arroger le droit de s’exprimer en notre nom, et, pour mieux attester de notre solidarité dans les circonstances dramatiques actuelles, nous revendiquons l’honneur de dire que «nous sommes aussi de sales Français».

Voir de plus:

Les musulmans de France font bloc contre le terrorisme et la « barbarie »
Plusieurs centaines de personnes se sont rassemblées vendredi 26 septembre en début d’après-midi devant la Grande Mosquée de Paris en hommage à Hervé Gourdel, l’otage français assassiné mercredi 24 septembre.
Lucie Gruau
La Croix
26/9/14

Contrairement à leurs voisins britanniques qui ont choisi Internet et la campagne Not in my name  (pas en mon nom) pour faire entendre leur voix, les musulmans de France ont préféré se rassembler, vendredi 26 septembre, devant un lieu hautement symbolique : la Grande Mosquée de Paris.

Dire non au terrorisme
Pendant qu’à l’intérieur, certains prient, plusieurs centaines de personnes investissent bientôt la place du puits de l’ermite. Toutes les générations sont représentées dans l’assemblée, les jeunes y côtoient les anciens.

Tous sont venus là pour dire « non au terrorisme » et rendre hommage à Hervé Gourdel, l’otage français assassiné par le groupe djihadiste algérien Jund al-Khilafa (les soldats du califat). « L’annonce de cet assassinat m’a énormément touché, raconte Fatia. Ces gens-là ne sont pas des musulmans, ils n’ont rien en commun avec nous ! ».

Un message de paix
Karim et Mohamad, deux amis trentenaires, discutent un peu plus loin sur le trottoir. « On est là par solidarité mais c’est comme si nous musulmans on devait toujours se justifier, et expliquer sans cesse qu’on est contre ce genre de barbarie », regrettent-ils.

Sadek, quarante ans, préfère rester à l’écart de l’agitation. « Je veux faire passer un message de paix, explique-t-il. Quelle que soit notre religion, nous sommes avant tout des êtres humains. »

Unité nationale
Partageant cette idée, certains chrétiens, comme Françoise, ont aussi fait le déplacement pour apaiser le climat actuel, « très tendu ». « Je suis là parce que j’ai des amis musulmans et je ne veux pas d’un climat soupçonneux à leur égard », lance-t-elle alors que la foule se met à scander « Daech assassin ! ».

Sur le parvis de la mosquée, apparaissent alors plusieurs personnalités politiques et religieuses. Le président du Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM) et recteur de la Grande Mosquée de Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, est le premier à prendre la parole : « Ce rassemblement, c’est l’expression forte et vivante de notre volonté d’unité nationale et de notre volonté inébranlable de vivre ensemble ».

« Je ne partage pas votre foi mais je la respecte »
Mgr Michel Dubost, évêque d’Evry et président du conseil pour les relations interreligieuses à la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF) s’adresse alors aux musulmans présents. « Je suis là pour vous dire de redresser la tête, soyez fiers de ce que vous faites, lance-t-il à la foule. Je ne partage pas votre foi mais je la respecte. »

Puis vient le tour de la maire de Paris, Anne Hidalgo (PS) qui rappelle devant le public que « la communauté nationale ne se laissera pas diviser ».

Voir aussi:

« Le message de l’Etat Islamique est un appel à l’insurrection lancé aux loups solitaires« 
Wladimir Garcin
Le Figaro
22/09/2014

Pour Bernard Cazeneuve, nous sommes prêts à faire face à la menace de l’Etat Islamique. Est-ce vraiment le cas ? Le décryptage d’Hugues Moutouh.

Hugues Moutouh a été conseiller spécial du ministre de l’Intérieur. Il est désormais avocat. Il est l’auteur de 168 heures chrono: la traque de Mohamed Merah.
FigaroVox: Dans un message audio, les djihadistes de l’Etat Islamique menacent les ressortissants français à cause de notre engagement militaire en Irak. Faut-il prendre ces menaces au sérieux?

Hugues MOUTOUH: Le message a été authentifié: la menace doit donc être prise au sérieux. Il ne s’agit certes pas de la première fois qu’un réseau terroriste menace de frapper nos ressortissants, mais cela confirme la dangerosité extrême de cet Etat islamique. Ce groupe est bien plus puissant et dangereux que tous ceux connus jusqu’ici. Installé sur un territoire vaste, disposant d’importantes ressources financières, militaires (un matériel sophistiqué, hérité des stocks américains abandonnés sur place), Daech a les moyens de mener une politique agressive. Le danger va donc croissant, et tous les services de renseignement français le savent.

Quel est le but des terroristes à travers ces intimidations?

Le but est la raison d’être même de cet Etat: propager la terreur. De plus, l’Etat Islamique dispose d’un véritable pouvoir de séduction, notamment par rapport à Al-Qaïda, grâce à ses ressources, à son statut autoproclamé d’Etat, ainsi qu’à sa parfaite utilisation des média et des réseaux sociaux. Ses succès militaires sont ainsi largement relayés et diffusés et participent de son rayonnement dans le monde.

Le ministre de l’Intérieur Bernard Cazeneuve a déclaré que «même si le risque zéro n’existe pas, nous prenons 100% de précaution», et que «La France n’a pas peur» face à la menace terroriste. Sommes-nous vraiment prêts à faire face aux djihadistes?

Les services de renseignement et les spécialistes effectuent un énorme travail de repérage, mais il suffit qu’une seule personne passe à travers les mailles du filet pour semer la terreur et le chaos. Il y a actuellement plus de 900 français en Irak et en Syrie, prêts à revenir en France. De plus, le message audio de l’Etat Islamique est à mon sens un appel à l’insurrection lancé aux loups solitaires. Le porte-parole de Daech y enjoint tous ceux se sentant en empathie avec leur Etat à prendre les armes, ou, à défaut, à percuter les gens avec leur voiture, ou à les étrangler. Il s’agit d’un véritable appel au meurtre, visant à faire basculer les personnes fragiles psychologiquement ou isolées dans le terrorisme.

On ne peut donc jamais être totalement prêt, car tout peut arriver. Les services font ce qu’ils peuvent pour prévenir ces risques, mais l’acte terroriste est par définition imprévisible. Le pire est toujours à attendre, malgré les progrès de la surveillance et la coopération internationale. Il suffit d’une personne influençable, d’un fou isolé, pour qu’un acte terroriste soit commis. Ce genre d’attentat est donc bien plus difficile à prévoir qu’une action coordonnée, structurée et financée par Al-Qaïda, par exemple.

La France n’a pas connu d’attaques majeures depuis la vague d’attentats des années 1995-1996. Comment la menace a-t-elle évolué depuis? Les services de sécurité français ont-ils adapté leurs techniques de renseignement?

Le terrorisme a énormément évolué, et un attentat comme celui du 11 septembre appartient au XXème siècle et n’arriverait plus aujourd’hui. Les Etats peuvent contrecarrer ce type d’action, et tout ce qui est organisé peut être déjoué puis puni par notre système législatif. Aujourd’hui, le terrorisme prend plutôt la forme du loup solitaire, un concept théorisé aux Etats-Unis par le FBI pour qualifier les attaques des groupuscules d’extrême-droite suprématistes. Ces groupes souhaitaient multiplier les actions terroristes, tout en limitant la possibilité d’arrestation. Ils ont donc commencé à créer de petites cellules, de une à trois personnes, très difficiles à identifier. Le FBI a donc inventé le terme de loup solitaire pour qualifier ces individus. Les islamistes utilisent aujourd’hui ce type d’organisations pour préparer leurs actions.

Tout ne peut être fait ou interdit au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme. La question est aujourd’hui de savoir s’il faut déplacer le curseur entre la sécurité et la liberté vers plus de protection, ce qui impliquerait automatiquement une limitation des libertés et droits.
Dans un précédent entretien, vous déclariez que la principale menace actuelle était celle des loups solitaires, comme Mohamed Merah, endoctrinés et formés sur Internet. L’Etat est-il aujourd’hui capable de surveiller, d’identifier et d’interpeller ce type de menaces plus efficacement, ou Internet reste-t-il une zone difficilement contrôlable?

Internet est évidemment difficilement contrôlable, et, plus largement, la limite de la surveillance, de la protection de la société est le cadre de l’Etat de droit. Tout ne peut être fait ou interdit au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme. La question est aujourd’hui de savoir s’il faut déplacer le curseur entre la sécurité et la liberté vers plus de protection, ce qui impliquerait automatiquement une limitation des libertés et droits. Ce débat ne peut cependant être mené par les services de sécurité, mais par le Parlement et le gouvernement. Si l’on estime que le risque devient trop important, ces derniers doivent proposer un nouveau cadre pour la société. La question centrale d’un tel débat est bien celle du prix à payer pour la sécurité.

Au-delà des services de police, les citoyens sont-ils prêts psychologiquement à lutter contre la menace terroriste?

Depuis de nombreuses années, les moyens nécessaires à la lutte contre le terrorisme sont refusés au ministère de l’Intérieur, comme l’a montré le scandale du fichier Edvige. Or, un nouveau système, utilisant les nouvelles technologies, les écoutes, la reconnaissance faciale et les fichiers de renseignement est aujourd’hui nécessaire. Les Français sont, à mon sens, prêts à accepter ce nouveau cadre s’il défini et approuvé par le Parlement, et s’ils sont informés intelligemment et clairement à ce propos.

Si l’utilisation de ces nouvelles technologies est régulée et contrôlée, nous pourrons lutter bien plus efficacement contre la menace terroriste, et identifier les déséquilibrés en amont pour les éviter d’agir.

Voir encore:

Alain Chouet : « L’Etat islamique manquera bientôt de ressources humaines et financières »
Saïd Branine et Ian Hamel
Oumma
10 septembre 2014
En exclusivité pour Oumma.com, Alain Chouet, ancien chef du service de renseignement de sécurité de la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), analyse les chances de survie de l’Etat islamique.

A propos de l’auteur

Ancien chef du service de renseignement de sécurité de la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), Alain Chouet a notamment été en poste au Liban et en Syrie. Il avait été l’un des premiers spécialistes du terrorisme à révéler que l’organisation Al-Qaïda était « morte sur le plan opérationnel dans les trous à rats de Tora Bora en 2002 ». Et qu’« il ne resterait qu’une cinquantaine de membres, essentiellement des seconds couteaux, incapables d’animer à l’échelle planétaire un réseau coordonné de violence politique ». En exclusivité pour Oumma.com, Alain Chouet analyse les chances de survie de l’Etat islamique (*).

Comment expliquez-vous que la presse francophone n’ait parlé que tardivement de cette scission d’Al-Qaida, aujourd’hui à la tête de l’Etat islamique. On sait pourtant que depuis la mort de Ben Laden, certains djihadistes ont refusé de prêter allégeance à Zawahiri.

La réalité est que, depuis 2002 et l’offensive alliée contre le régime Taliban d’Afghanistan et ses protégés djihadistes, Al-Qaïda relève plus du mythe que de la réalité. C’est un mythe qui a été entretenu par le fait que tout contestataire dans le monde musulman, quelles que soient ses motivations et ses objectifs, a bien compris qu’il devait se réclamer de l’organisation qui avait épouvanté l’Amérique s’il voulait être pris au sérieux. C’est un mythe qui a été entretenu par certains dirigeants des pays musulmans qui ont bien compris qu’ils devaient coller l’étiquette Al-Qaïda sur leurs opposants s’ils voulaient pouvoir les réprimer tranquillement. C’est enfin un mythe qui a été entretenu par les dirigeants et les médias d’un certain nombre de pays occidentaux pour légitimer leur politique sécuritaire intérieure et extérieure.

Mais dans la galaxie salafiste, tout le monde sait bien que Al-Qaïda se résumait depuis 2003 à un Ben Laden réfugié dans un « resort » des services pakistanais et à un sentencieux Ayman Zawahiri distribuant les bons et les mauvais points de djihadisme et s’appropriant verbalement des actes de violence commis un peu partout dans le monde qu’il n’avait ni commandités, ni prescrits ni contrôlés.

Il était difficile pour des djihadistes ambitieux de remettre en cause la figure emblématique de Ben Laden mais plus facile de s’affranchir de la tutelle morale de Zawahiri. En particulier pour des chefs de bande locaux qui n’avaient que faire du « djihad mondial » sans bénéfice immédiat et souhaitaient plutôt se bâtir un petit sultanat local où ils pourraient exercer un pouvoir sans partage et rançonner la population. C’est ce type de raisonnement, joint aux aléas des rivalités locales et des surenchères entre l’Arabie et le Qatar, qui a poussé un Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi à rejeter le parrainage d’Al-Qaïda et – comme on dit en France – à s’autoproclamer « Calife à la place du Calife ».

Comment expliquer l’émergence de l’EIIL et par qui ce groupe était-il financé (avant qu’il ne mette la main sur des banques et des puits de pétrole)?

L’EIIL n’a pas « émergé » comme par miracle l’année dernière. Il est la filiation directe de ce que l’on appelait il y encore quelque temps « Al-Qaïda en Irak » ou « Al-Qaïda en Mésopotamie ». Cette organisation avait été elle-même formée en 2003 par Abou Moussaab al-Zarqawi, ancien membre d’Al-Qaïda rejeté par Ben Laden pour son aventurisme, à partir d’un groupe djihadiste préexistant dans le nord est de l’Irak et connu sous le nom de Ansar al-Islam (Partisans de l’Islam). Après la mort de Zarqawi tué dans un bombardement américain, l’organisation a été reprise en main par son chef actuel qui a continué de bénéficier du soutien actif des services saoudiens dans la perspective de s’opposer à la mainmise totale des chiites sur le pouvoir irakien et à la connivence de plus en plus marquée entre Baghdad et Téhéran.

Les choses se sont compliquées début 2011 avec l’émergence des troubles en Syrie. Les services spéciaux saoudiens du Prince Bandar Ben Sultan et le Qatar se sont lancé dans des initiatives rivales pour accélérer la chute de Bashar el-Assad. Les Saoudiens ont organisé en Syrie l’émergence d’un front salafiste anti-régime sous la désignation de Jabhat al-Nosra tandis que les Qataris ont lancéune « OPA hostile » sur l’EIIL en diversifiant ses activités sur la Syrie en complément de l’Irak et en concurrence avec les autres groupes djihadistes.

Et tout ce paysage confus s’est transformé à l’été 2013 quand le coup d’État feutré qui a eu lieu à Qatar a écarté l’Emir et son activiste Premier ministre et recentré les investissements de l’Émirat sur des activités économiques plutôt que politiques. Dans le même temps, à la lueur du désordre politique et social induit en Égypte par la gestion des Frères Musulmans, le cabinet royal saoudien – plutôt partisan d’un ordre régional apaisé et d’un système de coexistence plutôt que d’affrontement avec l’Iran – a repris la main sur les extrémistes du clan familial, écarté le Prince Bandar et ses partisans, apporté son soutien au coup d’État du Maréchal Sissi et, surtout, condamné et criminalisé les activités djihadistes au Levant.

Brutalement privés de soutiens extérieurs significatifs, Jabhat el-Nosra et surtout l’EIIL se sont retrouvés condamnés à une fuite en avant, coincés sur place et contraints d’y trouver les ressources financières et militaires nécessaires à leur survie. Ce n’est pas par hasard que le premier objectif de l’EIIL dans sa fulgurante offensive du printemps dernier a été de s’emparer de la succursale de la banque centrale d’Irak à Mossoul pour y rafler près d’un demi-milliard de dollars en or et en billets.

Existe-t-il encore des liens entre le Front Al Nosra en Syrie et l’EIIL?

Ces organisations fonctionnent sur un mode féodal et mafieux où des chefs de bandes locales prêtent allégeance au chef de l’organisation en fonction de leur intérêt du moment. Les frontières entre les mouvements sont donc poreuses mais avec les risques que cela comporte en cas de trahison. D’autre part il faut considérer qu’il existe en Syrie comme en Irak une multitude de groupes armés locaux, parfois à l’échelle du village, du quartier ou du groupe d’immeubles, à l’allégeance mal définie et qui se rallient à tel ou tel en fonction des circonstances et du profit à en espérer.

L’EIIL est-il capable d’administrer les territoires conquis?

C’est douteux, faute de ressources humaines et, à terme, de ressources financières. Pour l’instant l’EIIL dispose d’un trésor de guerre estimé à 2 milliards de dollars. Ce trésor repose essentiellement sur le racket de « l’impôt révolutionnaire », sur le contrôle d’un certain nombre de site d’extraction d’hydrocarbures, sur le pillage systématique et la revente sur le marché noir turc des matériaux de construction (souvent arrachés des maisons existantes), matériels industriels et agricoles, véhicules, objets volés dans les propriétés publiques et privées dans les zones contrôlées.

Mais il faut se garder pour autant de considérer que l’EIIL dispose maintenant d’un budget annuel fixe et permanent. Le pillage de la succursale de la Banque Centrale d’Irak à Mossoul était un fusil à un coup. Il a été largement dilapidé dans la « location » de chefs de tribus sunnites d’Irak qui ont permis à l’EIIL sa rapide offensive du printemps. Le pillage des biens d’équipement sera bientôt tari par épuisement. De même que « l’impôt révolutionnaire » par suite de ruine ou exode des « assujettis ».

Reste le contrôle des ressources pétrolières (vulnérables car les puits ne sont pas déplaçables) qui est soumis au bon vouloir des Turcs et d’un certain nombre d’intermédiaires irakiens, tous susceptibles de « retourner leur veste » en fonction de la conjoncture internationale. Bref, dans six ou huit mois, il ne restera plus grande chose et c’est là que se posera (s’il n’est pas réglé avant) le problème du retour vers leur pays d’origine des mercenaires et volontaires étrangers (Tchétchènes, Bosniaques, Maghrébins, Libyens, Saoudiens interdits de retour au royaume, et – en ce qui nous concerne – Européens.)

Quelles sont les différences majeures entre le mode de fonctionnement d’Al-Qaida et l’EIIL? En s’autoproclamant calife, Baghdadi a également une vision globalisée du djihad, comme l’avait Ben Laden.

Al-Qaïda était un mouvement terroriste stricto sensu. C’est-à-dire un groupe restreint ayant une stratégie globale mais pas de tactique définie, mettant en œuvre des non-professionnels de la violence sacrifiables en vue de commettre dans le monde entier des attentats aveugles comme ils pouvaient, où ils pouvaient, quand ils pouvaient pourvu que la violence soit spectaculaire, médiatisée et porte la signature et le message de la mouvance.

L’EIIL est, au contraire, une véritable armée de professionnels de la violence avec un chef, une mission, des moyens, un agenda et des objectifs précis dans un espace limité. Le seul fait de se désigner sous le nom d’Etat (Dawla) montre bien que ses responsables entendent se donner un ancrage institutionnel (al-Islami) et géographique (fil-Iraq wa ash-Sham). Ce n’était pas du tout le cas de Ben Laden, au moins dans sa version finale des années 1998-2001 qui prônait une violence déterritorialisée contre le monde entier.

Mais qui dit État, dit chef de l’État et – en version islamique fondamentaliste – Calife. D’où l’initiative de Baghdadi qui vise aussi bien à faire un pied de nez aux Saoudiens, gardiens autoproclamés des Lieux saints qui l’ont abandonné et dont il conteste ainsi la légitimité, qu’à mettre l’ensemble des musulmans du monde en demeure de choisir leur camp en ayant à accepter ou rejeter son autopromotion. C’est ce qui explique qu’en se proclamant Calife, il abandonne aussitôt dans la dénomination du mouvement la référence territoriale à l’Irak et au Levant pour devenir « seulement » Etat Islamique (Dawlat al-Islami). Mais tout cela révèle plutôt des finasseries calculatrices de survie plutôt qu’une « vision globalisée du djihad ».

Quels sont les moyens les plus efficaces pour combattre cette organisation?

L’EIIL pose le même problème que l’Etat Taliban en Afghanistan, AQMI au Sahel, les Shebab en Somalie ou Boko Haram au Nigeria. Il s’agit d’armées constituées, souvent en uniforme ou portant des signes de reconnaissance, utilisant des matériels militaires, des véhicules dédiés, des implantations localisables, des moyens de communication identifiables. Cela relève à l’évidence d’une riposte militaire consensuelle et concertée face à laquelle on semble pourtant tergiverser.

Pendant plus de dix ans, les Etats-Unis ont placé l’ensemble du monde musulman sous une loi permanente des suspects, détruit irrémédiablement plusieurs pays, espionné la planète entière – y compris leurs plus proches alliés et leurs concitoyens -, harcelé des millions de voyageurs dans les aéroports, multiplié les tortures et les internements illégaux au nom d’une « guerre globale contre la terreur » qui n’a ramené dans ses filets que quelques seconds couteaux et un Ben Laden « retiré des affaires ».

Et aujourd’hui que sont parfaitement localisés avec précision une dizaine de milliers de djihadistes arborant fièrement leur drapeau, défilant dans les rues, égorgeant des citoyens américains devant les télévisions, éventrant médiatiquement femmes et enfants, jouant au foot avec les têtes de leurs ennemis, la Présidence américaine vient dire qu’elle « n’a pas encore de stratégie dans la lutte contre le djihadisme »….

Je veux croire qu’il s’agit là d’une manœuvre du Président Obama pour contraindre l’Arabie et le pétromonarchies du Golfe à « choisir leur camp » et à cesser leurs pratiques de double langage qui consiste à condamner verbalement le terrorisme tout en soutenant un peu partout dans le monde les groupes terroristes salafistes et les djihadistes en vue de neutraliser les initiatives démocratiques ou l’influence de l’Iran qu’ils considèrent comme également dangereuses pour le maintien de leur pouvoir.

L’Iran va-t-il devenir un partenaire à part entière pour combattre l’EIIL?

S’il veut préserver l’avenir et laisser la porte ouverte à l’élaboration d’un système de confiance régional avec les pétromonarchies arabes, l’Iran n’a pas vraiment intérêt à s’afficher comme le fer de lance ou un élément actif d’une coalition pilotée par les Occidentaux pour combattre l’extrémisme sunnite violent.

Téhéran ne peut que se réjouir de l’éradication des salafistes et soutiendra résolument mais aussi discrètement que possible ses alliés chiites irakiens, syriens et libanais comme il l’a toujours fait. Mais pourquoi voudrait-on, alors que l’Arabie multiplie les signaux d’apaisement, qu’il aille compromettre ses chances de coexistence future avec son environnement sunnite pour résoudre un problème qui ne le menace pas directement et qui est la conséquence des erreurs de gestion américaines dans la zone ?

Au-delà des dérapages verbaux de certains de leurs responsables politiques, les Iraniens sont prudents et calculateurs. Selon toute probabilité, ils laisseront les Occidentaux s’occuper du dossier en apportant juste l’aide qu’il faut pour qu’on reconnaisse et salue leur contribution et leur sens des responsabilités internationales mais avec le souci de ne pas justifier l’accusation constante qui leur est faite par les wahhabites d’être des hérétiques ennemis de l’Islam.

Si l’Etat islamique est détruit, ce n’est pas à Téhéran qu’iront se répandre les militants du djihadisme défaits, déçus et avides de vengeance….

(*) Alain Chouet donne une conférence sur le thème « Syrie, le carrefour des contradictions », le 19 septembre à 19 h 30 à la librairie arabe L’Olivier, 5, rue de Fribourg à Genève (Suisse).

Voir encore:

« L’Arabie saoudite, le Qatar et la Turquie n’avaient pas lésiné sur les moyens pour favoriser l’émergence du terrorisme »

Majed Nehmé, directeur d’Afrique Asie

Le Temps d’Algérie

21-09-2014

Le Temps d’Algérie : Certains pays ont fait alliance avec «la rébellion» pour renverser le président Al Assad. Aujourd’hui, ces pays font partie de la coalition anti-Daech. Comment expliquez-vous ce retournement ?

Je ne pense pas qu’ils se soient retournés contre ces monstres qu’ils ont conçus, enfantés et nourris en armes, en argent, en combattants et en idéologie ! Ou du moins pas encore. Les deux organisations, Daech et Al-Nosra, sont le pur produit de l’idéologie salafiste wahhabite.

Les pays occidentaux et leurs supplétifs du Golfe ainsi que la Turquie avaient, dès les premiers mois du déclenchement de la crise syrienne, opté pour armer l’opposition qu’ils avaient décrite comme «modérée». Lors de la conférence des «Amis de la Syrie» réunis à Tunis en février 2012, le ministre saoudien des Affaires étrangères, Saoud Al-Fayçal, avait déclaré publiquement que son pays allait armer l’opposition. Mais très vite, les chancelleries occidentales, et plus particulièrement la France et les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, à travers leurs ambassadeurs à Damas, Eric Chevalier et Robert Ford, avaient compris que les marionnettes du
Conseil national syrien, qu’ils avaient créées de toutes pièces pour se substituer au pouvoir syrien légal, était dominé, directement et indirectement, par des cadres des Frères musulmans. Les libéraux et les démocrates, que j’appellerai les «idiots utiles» de la rébellion, n’avaient aucune représentativité.

En décidant de militariser la contestation, les Occidentaux et leurs marionnettes ont été très vite submergés par des organisations takfiries qui rejetaient à la fois le pouvoir syrien et l’opposition extérieure. Leurs calculs étaient basés sur un pari stupide, à savoir que les jours de Bachar Al Assad étaient désormais comptés (trois à six mois !), que l’armée allait se retourner contre lui et, enfin, que le CNS allait prendre le pouvoir et chasser les extrémistes qui avaient fait le sale boulot pour eux et qu’ils n’avaient qu’à attendre dans les hôtels cinq étoiles en Turquie, en Arabie saoudite, au Qatar et en Europe pour le ramasser.

Pour Burhan Ghalioun et Georges Sabra, les premiers présidents du CNS, «tous ceux qui combattent le régime syrien, y compris Al Nosra, sont des révolutionnaires et des alliés». Auparavant, ils prétendaient que ces groupes islamistes issus souvent de la nébuleuse d’Al Qaïda, étaient manipulés par les services syriens. Mais peu à peu, l’armée syrienne libre était balayée, l’opposition démocratique pacifique réduite au silence ou à l’exil. L’Arabie saoudite, le Qatar et la Turquie n’avaient pas lésiné sur les moyens pour favoriser l’émergence de ces groupes terroristes.

Ils pensaient que ce sont les seuls capables d’écraser le régime syrien.
Plutôt que d’écraser le régime de Damas, ces groupes ont commencé à se livrer bataille entre eux. Le Font Al Nosra, qui a été reconnu officiellement par le successeur de Ben Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, comme le seul représentant d’Al Qaïda au pays du Cham (grande Syrie) est actuellement en guerre larvée contre Daech. Il y a aussi d’autres mouvements rebelles, tous d’obédience takfirie, qui pullulent sur l’ensemble du territoire syrien et qui s’entredéchirent férocement. Ainsi, l’aspiration à la démocratie et au respect des droits de l’homme qui avait animé les premières manifestations n’est plus de mise. Désormais, c’est la création d’un califat et d’un Etat islamique qui semble animer tous ces mouvements hétéroclites.

Les pays qui avaient favorisé l’émergence de ce chaos indescriptible en Syrie, réalisant que le renversement du régime de Damas n’est plus accessible, craignant le retour des dizaines de milliers de djihadistes dans leurs pays respectifs, ont pris peur et commencent à se mobiliser contre eux. Mais ce retournement n’est jusqu’ici que verbal.
Que cherchent les Etats-Unis en mettant en place cette «coalition» contre Daech ?

Officiellement, les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés et supplétifs n’ont cherché à éradiquer Daech que lorsque ce groupe a décapité des journalistes et des citoyens occidentaux d’une façon répugnante et barbare qui a choqué l’opinion publique. Ils ne pouvaient pas ne pas réagir, ou faire semblant de réagir. En s’emparant d’une grande partie du territoire irakien et de la deuxième ville du pays, Mossoul, en infligeant une défaite humiliante à l’armée irakienne et, enfin, en avançant vers le Kurdistan irakien, en s’attaquant aux minorités chrétienne, turkmène, yézidie…

Daech a poussé les Etats-Unis à intervenir symboliquement. Ils en ont profité pour exiger le départ de Maliki et son remplacement par quelqu’un de plus docile. Ce qui a effectivement été fait. Si les bombardements aériens ont pu avoir un impact positif sur le moral des troupes loyalistes et des peshmergas kurdes, et stopper l’avancée des hordes de Daech, il n’en reste pas moins que c’est l’intervention des militaires iraniens et des combattants turcs et syriens du PKK qui a permis de stopper net cette avancée. Or les pasdarans iraniens et les PKK kurdes en Turquie et en Syrie sont considérés par les Occidentaux comme des terroristes !
En fait, tout ce cirque médiatique fait autour de Daech a pour ultime objectif de faire durer la tuerie et la destruction de la Syrie et de l’Irak et ultérieurement, l’Iran.

Une «dissension» a été annoncée au sein d’Al Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), de laquelle serait née une nouvelle organisation terroriste appelée «Djound Al Khilafa» et qui a déjà annoncé son allégeance à Daech. Pourquoi maintenant et pourquoi la région du Sahel ?

Les mouvements qui prônent un pseudo djihad global, par opposition au djihad local, maîtrisent magistralement l’art de la communication et de la propagande, notamment sur les réseaux sociaux. Aqmi est actuellement sur la défensive. Elle est traquée et rejetée partout. Elle ne survit que grâce au racket, au crime organisé, à la contrebande et aux kidnappings générateurs de rançons que certains pays occidentaux continuent malheureusement à payer. Son projet idéologique, si l’on peut dire, n’attire pas grand monde.

Il est donc normal que des dissensions apparaissent dans ses rangs. Pourchassée dans le Nord Mali, elle est actuellement repliée sur la Libye, un pays livré au chaos, aux milices armées et aux bandits de grands chemins. Il est normal, en période de repli, que des dissensions apparaissent mais sans lendemain. Il s’agit le plus souvent de disputes entre gangs autour d’un butin ou dans l’espoir d’accaparer une partie du butin saisi par Daech en Irak et évalué à quelque deux milliards de dollars. Je ne pense pas qu’il faudra accorder beaucoup de crédit à ces dissensions appelées à se multiplier. Le vrai danger c’est le chaos en Libye elle-même devenue le sanctuaire de nombreux terroristes ayant sévi en Syrie et en Irak et qui sont rentrés poursuivre leur combat sous des cieux plus cléments.

Comment qualifiez-vous le refus des Etats-Unis et de la France de coopérer avec l’Etat syrien contre Daech ?

Cela signifie que ces deux pays ne cherchent pas réellement à éradiquer Daech. Car c’est actuellement la Syrie qui combat le plus efficacement ce fléau. Sans la contribution syrienne à la guerre contre ce monstre, Daech serait déjà en Jordanie, au Liban et à la frontière d’Israël.

Il faut cependant discerner entre le refus médiatique et la coordination indirecte mais réelle pour faire barrage à cette organisation. Sur ce plan, une coordination réelle et efficace est engagée entre la Syrie et l’Irak.

L’échange d’informations se fait par l’intermédiaire du gouvernement irakien qui joue, jusqu’ici, le go-between entre Américains et Syriens.

Les Etats-Unis et la France, après avoir clamé que les jours de Bachar étaient comptés, ont quelque réticence à avaler leur chapeau, reconnaître leur erreur de jugement et retrouver le chemin de Damas. C’est une question de temps. Damas a déjà été approché par des émissaires français et américains pour reprendre une coopération secrète entre services. Mais ils se sont vu répondre que cette époque est bel et bien révolue et que si ces deux pays veulent réellement reprendre la coopération d’antan, il faudrait que ça se fasse à travers des structures diplomatiques. Donc pas avant la réouverture des ambassades américaine et française à Damas.

Les «djihadistes» libyens, tunisiens et ceux d’autres pays du Maghreb arabe, partis faire le «djihad» au sein d’organisations criminelles, dont Daech, Al Qaïda et le Front Al Nosra, en Syrie et en Irak, constituent-ils un danger à leur retour dans leurs pays respectifs ?

C’est une évidence. On a d’ailleurs remarqué que les pays du Maghreb, qui se disaient «amis du peuple syrien» (Maroc, Tunisie, Libye) n’avaient pas voulu participer à la conférence de Paris. Ils observent avec inquiétude le retour certain de leurs djihadistes qui sèment la terreur chez eux. C’est le cas également des pays occidentaux qui avaient fermé les yeux, voire encouragé le départ de ces djihadistes en Syrie et en Irak dans l’espoir de s’en débarrasser.
A lire la presse occidentale, le retour de ces anciens de la Syrie, qui nous rappelle le retour des anciens d’Afghanistan, est le cauchemar de tous les services de sécurité, à tel point que pour certains analystes, la question n’est plus de savoir si ces terroristes vont passer à l’action en Europe même, mais quand et comment. C’est l’histoire de l’arroseur arrosé.

Ne croyez-vous pas que cette «coalition anti-Daech pourrait être utilisée par les Etats-Unis pour effectuer des frappes contre l’armée syrienne et l’affaiblir dans le but de faciliter l’avancée de ce qui est appelée «opposition armée modérée» ?

Il est certain que la coalition anti-Daech est actuellement inexistante. Elle est médiatique. Obama, qui ne veut pas terminer son deuxième mandat par une guerre, l’a dit ouvertement : c’est une guerre qui va durer des années. Conclusion : il cherche à épuiser la Syrie et l’Irak et à tout faire pour que ces deux pays retrouvent la place qui leur revient sur l’échiquier du Moyen-Orient.
Quant à l’avancée d’une opposition armée modérée, c’est une vue de l’esprit. Obama lui-même l’avait reconnu. Actuellement, l’initiative est entre les mains de l’armée syrienne et je ne vois pas comment une opposition fanatisée pourra réaliser ce qu’elle n’a pu faire en trois ans de guerre totale. L’objectif réel est de détruire la Syrie à petites doses. Et la situation actuelle arrange bien tous les ennemis de la Syrie.

Ne pensez-vous pas également que certains pays du Moyen-Orient, dont l’Arabie saoudite et la Turquie, et certains pays occidentaux, dont les Etats-Unis d’Amérique, ont grandement contribué à armer les organisations terroristes comme Daech et le Front Al Nosra ?

C’est un secret de Polichinelle. Tous ces pays avaient juré la perte de l’Etat syrien. En armant ces mouvements djihadistes, ils pensaient ramener la Syrie dans le giron occidental, l’extraire de son alliance avec l’Iran, la Russie et la Chine et la contraindre à une paix au rabais avec Israël. Jusqu’ici, cette stratégie a lamentablement échoué. Et ces monstres qu’ils ont nourris vont se retourner contre eux. Le jour où les Américains vont constater les dégâts de cette stratégie sur leurs propres intérêts et sur les intérêts de leurs supplétifs du Golfe, ils vont arrêter la partie. On n’en est malheureusement pas encore là.
Alain Chouet, le plus fin et informé des spécialistes français du renseignement, a mis les points sur les «i» en soulignant l’incohérence occidentale face à Daech.

«Aujourd’hui que sont parfaitement localisés avec précision une dizaine de milliers de djihadistes arborant fièrement leur drapeau, défilant dans les rues, égorgeant des citoyens américains devant les télévisions, éventrant médiatiquement femmes et enfants, jouant au foot avec les têtes de leurs ennemis, la présidence américaine, écrit-il,  vient dire qu’elle «n’a pas encore de stratégie dans la lutte contre le djihadisme»…

Je veux croire qu’il s’agit là d’une manœuvre du président Obama pour contraindre l’Arabie et les pétromonarchies du Golfe à «choisir leur camp» et à cesser leurs pratiques de double langage qui consiste à condamner verbalement le terrorisme tout en soutenant un peu partout dans le monde les groupes terroristes salafistes et les djihadistes en vue de neutraliser les initiatives démocratiques ou l’influence de l’Iran qu’ils considèrent comme également dangereuses pour le maintien de leur pouvoir.»

Des médias évoquent une «rupture» entre Al Qaïda et Daech, alors qu’Al Qaïda vient d’annoncer son soutien à Daech face à la «coalition». Comment expliquez-vous cela ?

C’est une rupture de façade. Les deux organisations, qui se disputent entre elles pour des raisons de contrôle de territoire ou de partage des butins, sont toutes les deux, malgré les apparences, dans une position de repli. Elles poursuivent les mêmes objectifs.

Edwy Plenel et la fausse «lettre de Mandela»
Meir Wentrater
Comme un juif en France
11 décembre 2011

S’exprimant en direct depuis la Jordanie, où il participait à une rencontre d’une ONG vouée au «journalisme d’investigation», Edwy Plenel a consacré un billet, diffusé le 11 décembre 2013 dans «Les Matins de France Culture», à Nelson Mandela [1]. Il a longuement cité une lettre adressée en 2001 par Nelson Mandela au journaliste américain Tom Friedman, dans laquelle le dirigeant sud-africain condamnait sévèrement l’attitude d’Israël envers les Palestiniens.

Le problème est que cette lettre est un faux. Son véritable auteur, un journaliste palestinien vivant aux Pays-Bas nommé Arjan el-Fassed, ne s’en est d’ailleurs jamais caché: il entendait utiliser le genre littéraire de la fausse lettre, afin d’accuser Israël de pratiquer envers les Palestiniens une forme d’apartheid.

Cependant, la prétendue «lettre à Friedman» a circulé sur des forums Internet militants où elle a été présentée comme une parole authentique de Mandela. Jusqu’à ce qu’en 2002 les journalistes du quotidien israélien Haaretz s’adressent à la présidence sud-africaine, et découvrent le pot aux roses [2]. Tout le monde sait aujourd’hui que, non seulement cette «lettre» n’a pas été écrite par Nelson Mandela, mais elle ne représente en rien les positions du dirigeant sud-africain sur le conflit israélo-palestinien [3].

Julien Salingue, l’un des principaux porte-parole de la «cause palestinienne» en France, résume bien les choses quand il écrit sur son blog, le 6 décembre 2013: «Il ne s’agit pas ici de transformer Mandela en héraut du combat pour les droits nationaux des Palestiniens, même s’il n’a jamais fait mystère de son soutien à la lutte contre l’occupation israélienne. Mandela a toujours été, sur ce terrain, beaucoup plus en retrait que l’archevêque Desmond Tutu, qui depuis de longues années soutient la campagne internationale de boycott de l’État d’Israël, qu’il qualifie, à l’instar d’autres dirigeants sud-africains, d’État d’apartheid. Tel n’est pas le cas de Mandela, contrairement à ce que croient ceux qui ont pris pour argent comptant un “Mémo de Nelson Mandela à Thomas Friedman” dénonçant “l’apartheid israélien”, qui est en réalité un exercice de style rédigé par Arjan el-Fassed» [4].

Edwy Plenel figure donc parmi «ceux qui ont pris pour argent comptant» la prétendue «lettre de Mandela». Plus de dix ans après que la fausseté de celle-ci a été démontrée par les journalistes israéliens, il continue de la citer comme parole d’Evangile. Or non seulement le document auquel il se réfère est un faux, mais son contenu ne représente pas – comme le souligne le militant pro-palestinien Julien Salingue – les positions véritables de Mandela sur le sujet [5].

Edwy Plenel, participant en Jordanie à une conférence vouée au «journalisme d’investigation», aurait là un bon sujet d’étude sur la valeur de l’investigation en matière journalistique: comment ne pas s’appuyer sur des faux documents, comment distinguer – chez les autres, et éventuellement chez soi-même – l’analyse des faits et la passion militante [6]. Bref, une réflexion sur un thème qui devrait être cher au cœur des journalistes: la vérité.
NOTES

1. Le billet d’Edwy Plenel: http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-le-monde-selon-edwy-plenel-podcast-2013-12-11#.UqgLcaFeUKk.twitter

2. L’auteur de la «lettre», Arjan el-Fassed, raconte cela lui-même sur son blog: http://arjansweblog.blogspirit.com/mandela_memo

3. Sur ce que Nelson Mandela pensait d’Israël, nous disposons du témoignage d’Abe Foxman, qui participa à la rencontre entre Mandela et les dirigeants juifs américains, à Genève en 1990 (Mandela avait été libéré de prison peu de temps auparavant, et entamait le processus qui devait conduire à la fin de l’apartheid): «Lors de notre rencontre, Mandela exprima non seulement son soutien sans équivoque au droit d’Israël à exister mais aussi son profond respect pour ses dirigeants, parmi lesquels David Ben-Gourion, Golda Meïr et Menahem Begin. Il nous assura également qu’il soutenait le droit d’Israël à la sécurité et son droit de se protéger contre le terrorisme.»

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/how-mandela-won-over-the-jewish-community/

En octobre 1999, Nelson Mandela, qui avait quitté quelques mois plus tôt la présidence de l’Afrique du Sud, visita les pays du Proche-Orient. Lors de son séjour en Israël, il déclara au terme d’une longue rencontre avec le ministre des affaires étrangères David Lévy: «Selon moi, les discours sur la paix restent creux tant qu’Israël continue d’occuper des territoires arabes. (…) Je ne peux pas imaginer qu’Israël se retire si les Etats arabes ne reconnaissent pas Israël à l’intérieur de frontières sûres.»

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/19991019/aponline113258_000.htm

4. Voir le blog de Julien Salingue (par ailleurs très hostile à Israël):

http://resisteralairdutemps.blogspot.fr/p/comme-la-rappele-pierre-haski-de-rue89.html

5. Le journal en ligne (activement anti-israélien) MondoWeiss défend la thèse bizarre selon laquelle ce sont les pro-israéliens inconditionnels qui diffusent la thèse selon laquelle Nelson Mandela aurait accusé Israël de pratiquer l’apartheid, et ce afin de porter atteinte à l’image de Nelson Mandela:

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/12/apologists-discredit-apartheid.html

6. La réapparition de cette prétendue «lettre», au lendemain de la mort de Nelson Mandela, est significative de l’état d’esprit régnant dans certains milieux où l’activisme anti-israélien va de pair avec l’ignorance des faits. Voir, par exemple, ici:

http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.Gilles_Devers.061213.htm

Voir aussi:

Mandela memo
How it started?

On March 27, 2001, Thomas Friedman wrote a column in the style of a ‘mock memo’ entitled Bush’s First Memo. In this ‘mock memo’ Thomas Friedman writes in the name of U.S. President George W. Bush a memo to Palestinian President Yasir Arafat.

This ‘mock memo’ — Thomas Friedman had published a number of them in the New York Times, for example, a ‘mock memo’ he wished Secretary of State Colin Powell would have sent to President George W. Bush was published on February 20, 2001 — triggered me to write to the New York Times’ Readers Opinions in the the ‘mock memo’ style that Friedman himself liked to use and offered Nelson Mandela responding to Friedman’s Bush’s First Memo to Arafat.

Mandela’s first memo to Thomas Friedman (30 March 2001)

Since Thomas Friedman tells his readers that Palestinians should forget about 1948 and forget about returning to their homes, I wanted to show that current policies against Palestinians resemble an apartheid-like situation. Since Nelson Mandela has become the personification of the struggle against apartheid, I thought a ‘mock memo’ including Mandela was the logical thing to do. I could also have taken Steven Biko who has said that “the most potential weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed” or Oliver Tambo or others anti-apartheid activists.

The confusion

On 27 March 2001, after reading Friedman’s ‘mock memo’ I wrote a letter entitled Mandela’s first memo to Thomas Friedman to the op-ed editor of The New York Times and I posted the memo on the Thomas Friedman Discussion Board of the New York Times, hoping that Thomas Friedman would read it and that the New York Times would publish it. However, after two days, I came to the conclusion that the New York Times would not dare publishing this piece and I sent it on March 30, 2001 to Media Monitors, “a Platform for Serious Media Contributors”, an online daily.

Soon, however, I found the ‘mock memo’ I wrote and which clearly indicated that I wrote it, on various listservers and websites but without the byline mentioning that it was in fact written by me.

The main purpose of the Mandela-memo was to respond in a satirical way to Thomas Friedman using the exact same style and even phrases he uses in his columns. Obviously, the ‘mock memo’ had been forwarded to several e-mail lists containing the memo, which originally included the title “Mandela’s First Memo to Thomas Friedman” and a byline “by Arjan El Fassed”, but eventually was forwarded without my name and sometimes without title.

I posted the ‘mock memo’ myself on 30 March on an mailinglist of Al-Awda. Despite this, I’ve seen it several times being posted on the same list, something that gives you an idea of the lack of attention many people give to material they forward. In various posts I read, the subject title was changed for example, “Mandela supports…”, “must read”, etc. Perhaps it was wishful thinking. If Nelson Mandela would seriously have written to the New York Times, wouldn’t the New York Times just publish it? Moreover, I believe Nelson Mandela has better things to do then responding to columns written by Thomas Friedman.

How things got worse

On April 24, 2001, Akiva Eldar, chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli national daily Ha’aretz wrote in his Strong Quote from Mandela that the Palestinian daily Al Quds published a letter that Nelson Mandela sent to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in response to a March 27 Frideman column, dubbed “Memo to President Bush.”

Immediately, I wrote a letter to Ha’aretz explaining what happened. Most probably, someone translated the memo (without byline) into Arabic and which was taken up by the Palestinian daily and printed on April 16, 2001, however, without verifying the source. The editor of Al Quds, Marwan Abu Zalaf, said that he had no idea it was a fake, and that one of his reporters found it on the Internet.

On Friday, April 18, the Lebanese daily As-Safir re-published the ‘mock memo’ in Arabic based on the article as printed by the Palestinian daily Al-Quds. On Monday, April 21, The Daily Star had an op-ed entitled “Sharon: Why does the world ignore me?” and at the top of the ‘memo’, they had the following boxed introduction:

« New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman has recently popularized the idea of writing opinion pieces framed as « memos » from world leaders to various recipients, prompting various other writers to mimic the practice.

For the byline, at the bottom, the Star wrote in italics: Arjan El Fassed wrote this commentary for MediaMonitors, a website dedicated to providing a platform for all political opinions (NB. The Daily Star’s archive is currently not working).

The Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen published a commentary in which it quoted The Jerusalem Times which published the ‘mock memo’ on April 6, 2001, again without source, byline, or author, in its publication.

On April 24, 2001, someone wrote to Akiva Eldar the following:

——- Original Message ——-
From: ******* <********@yahoo.com>
To: eldar@haaretz.co.il
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 7:26 PM
Subject: Strong quote from Mandela

For the record, I have received the original messages containing each of Arjan El Fassed’s “memos,” sent directly from him (via an e-group). Mr. El Fassed’s byline is clearly present on each article, the articles come from his own e-mail address, and the more recent ones contain an explicit warning against forwarding the article without the byline. There is no possible basis for arguing that Mr. El Fassed intends for people to believe the memos were written by anyone other than himself.

It is hard to imagine that anyone would accuse Tom Friedman of impersonating a world leader if one of his “memos” was forwarded, sans byline, and then re-printed in another newspaper (though the newspaper re-printing the story would be a legitimate target for criticism).

To claim that Mr. El Fassed “tends to sign various missives he sends out to the world signed with the names of famous people” is, if not an intentional lie, than an inadvertent gross misstatement of fact. Whether you like Mr. El Fassed’s writing or not, you have a responsibility to correct what you wrote.

The next day, Akiva Eldar, replied:

—- haaretz eldar@haaretz.co.il wrote:
From: “haaretz”
To: “*******” <*******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Strong quote from Mandela
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:15:42 +0200

Mr El Fassed has give me a full account of his position and it will be reported in my next column.

However, instead of being reported in his next column, Ha’aretz published my own response instead.

Worse, however, Toronto Star columnist, Michele Landsberg wrote on May 20, 2001, Forged letter slights dignity of Nelson Mandela, in which she claimed that she checked with Mandela’s office in South Africa and that she heard from his assistant:

« You enquired about the infamous article that has been doing the rounds across the globe. We’ve received numerous enquiries… . Mr. Mandela did not write the article/letter, and this matter has been referred to his lawyers for further action. »

Nigel Parry responded to that column by writing a letter to the Toronto Star editor:

« Regarding Michele Landsberg’s column, « Forged letter slights dignity of Nelson Mandela », there was no « rat ». Someone obviously forwarded her the memo without its byline and she failed to seek out its source.

The memo was a clearly signed spoof that was first published on the Media Monitors Network.

Landsberg’s assertion that the letter was a “forgery” is as baseless as her claim that the political philosophy of Zionism — which directly resulted in the establishment of an Israeli state on the ruins of 415 Palestinian villages ethnically cleansed of nearly one million Arabs, with a legal system that still discriminates between “Jewish” and “Non Jewish” citizens in areas such as property ownership — is somehow not racist.

The Toronto Star chose not to publish his letter.

On May 26, 2001, the Lebanese newspaper an-Nahar published a clarification in Arabic which is similar to my own response in Ha’aretz.

Even now, some emails are still circulating with the ‘mock memo’. For example, the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace circulated the ‘mock memo’ and sent a message to their own list on 14 February 2002, saying that

« We sent you a letter, which was supposedly written by Nelson Mandela and addressed to Thomas Friedman. As we received it by email from a friend who was excited about a good answer to Friedman’s latest article in the New York Times, we misread the address, and thought it was in fact written in the New York Times. Thanks to the queries of some of you, we went to the source, and now we know for certain that Mandela did not write the article. It is still a good response, but we have no clue so far as to the author. »

What other readers said

In a message posted on April 13, 2002 on a listserver called Ecunews, Rick Mitchell wrote that the ‘mock memo’:

« reinforces [my] claim that Israel is maintaining a system of Apartheid by keeping Palestinians in captivity (the current occupation dates back to June, 1967) and subject to second-class status. One need not agree with all of his statements, but it is illuminating to recognize that we see and hear very little of this argument in the U.S., as the policy of our government and of the mainstream media has been consistently pro-Israeli. Politics is, of course, politics, but the important point to consider is El Fassed’s (and others’) contention that Zionism is inherently racist and un-democratic, resulting quite logically in an apartheid system of discrimination. It is also the policy of the U.S. government. »

What’s interesting is that some even argued, “but there is also a sense in which the ‘true’ or original author does not matter — and that sense is related to the question, ‘Is it true?’”

Others wrote on various lists, “If this is authentic, it is truly a moral bombshell in the present level of discussion…” and “[It may have been written] as a statement about what perhaps Nelson Mandela would say to someone such as journalist Thomas Friedman.”

« For those of you who are concerned about the authenticity of the Mandela memo, I have researched the matter with the help of others. Apparently Thomas Friedman often writes as though he were someone else and this piece is written with this understanding. I do not question the content because from my own personal experience, I can attest to an apartheid situation. »

Someone else posted this question:

« How could I find an email for Nelson Mandela to alert him to the efforts of us in the Jewish world who oppose Israel’s current treatment of Palestinians – and to discuss with him strategies for having an impact? »

« My husband (among other people) forwarded the ‘Nelson Mandela memo’ to me. I checked up on it through my sources in Palestine and found that it was not written by Nelson Mandela but by someone else using the style of Friedman’s articles. The name of the person is in some email in my file but the name doesn’t really matter. Someone was trying to do good but left the rest of us with egg on our faces. You may want to pass this information on to those from whom you got it and to those to whom you sent it. »

Another reader made this observation, “The existential reality of injustice witnessed first-hand…is a far more powerful teaching tool than injustice heard or read about.”

What Nelson Mandela indeed has said

« It is completely wrong that the United States must be the mediator in this conflict. Everybody knows the United States is a friend of Israel. »

« As far as we are concerned what is being done to the Palestinians is a matter of grave concern. We are the friends of Yasser Arafat. We are the friends of the Palestinians. We support their struggle » (Reuters, 1 June 2001, Mandela, speaking at a news conference after talks with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin).

« Israel should withdraw from the areas which it won from the Arabs — the Golan Heights, south Lebanon and the West Bank — that is the price of peace » (Dispatch, 20 October 1999)

« Our men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot get, where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then, if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence » (Associated Press , 20 October 1999)

« The histories of our two peoples, Palestinian and South African, correspond in such painful and poignant ways, that I intensely feel myself being at home amongst compatriots » (Associated Press , 20 October 1999)

« The long-standing fraternal bonds between our two liberation movements are now translating into the relations between two governments » (Associated Press, 20 October 1999)

Address by President Nelson Mandela at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Pretoria, 4 December 1997

Voir par ailleurs:

Obama est-il responsable de la situation en Irak?
Lucien SA Oulahbib
ResilienceTV
27/9/2014

Certainement. N’en déplaise à tous ceux qui n’ont de cesse de commencer tel un mantra l’amorce d’une réflexion en maudissant d’abord Bush fils et « 2003 ». Or, c’est bien Obama et non Bush qui a interrompu le processus de stabilisation existant en Irak depuis le « surge » de 2008 en quittant l’Irak avec précipitation et en laissant tout le pouvoir aux shiites inféodés à l’Iran, ce qui a démantelé tout l’effort entamé par David Petraeus commencé sous Bush et gagné en faisant alliance avec les tribus sunnites.

C’est bien Obama et non Bush qui a laissé faire en Syrie en 2013, refusant d’armer les résistants dits « laïcs », et fermant les yeux sur le financement des groupes islamistes (dont l’ancêtre de l’E.I actuel) opéré par l’Arabie Saoudite et le Qatar aujourd’hui apeurés de voir leur pouvoir féodal vaciller sous les coups de boutoir d’un mouvement islamique parfaitement fidèles aux critères historiques de l’islam depuis le début, l’islam étant par exemple une religion de « paix » dans la mesure où l’on accepte de vivre sous son joug : « que la paix (de l’islam) soit avec toi » voilà ce que veut dire son salut et non pas cette pâle imitation du christianisme, certains imams parlant même « d’amour » ce qui est d’un risible sans pareille lorsque l’on observe le nombre infime d’occurrence en la matière dans leur texte sacré…

Que l’Occident soit à l’heure actuelle son défenseur intransigeant (à coup de drones également) en dit long non seulement sur son masochisme mais surtout sa prétention à transformer tout taureau radical en boeuf aseptisé. En tout cas il semble bien qu’il n’existe pas d’islam modéré comme il n’a pas existé de communisme modéré, à moins d’abandonner la dictature du prolétariat, ou la « charia » comme le veulent certains en Tunisie, au Maroc, en Égypte, au Yémen… Wait and see.

Enfin, il semble bien que le 11 septembre 2001 ne soit pas la conséquence de « 2003 » (jusqu’à preuve du contraire).

Et à ceux qui rétorquent qu’il aurait fallu (« yaka ») construire des écoles, des routes et des hôpitaux plutôt que d’envoyer des armes il se trouve que tout cela a été construit et a été immédiatement dynamité (comme au Nigeria) parce que « école » n’a pas du tout la même signification en islam et en terre judéo-chrétienne républicaine et libérale.

Par ailleurs si les Kurdes avaient eu leur État dès 1923 à la chute de l’empire ottoman, ou du moins s’ils avaient été armés aussi bien que l’armée irakienne, peut-être que les Kurdes ne seraient pas acculés à reculer sous les coups de boutoir des néo-wahhabites, créatures échappées du laboratoire saoudien, toujours sous la bienveillance américaine et…française… Mais nous ne sommes pas à une contradiction près…

Il est navrant de rappeler ces quelques vérités premières à de si éminents « experts ».

 Voir enfin:

Argument
How We Won in Iraq
And why all the hard-won gains of the surge are in grave danger of being lost today.
David H. Petraeus
Foreign Policy
October 29, 2013

The news out of Iraq is, once again, exceedingly grim. The resurrection of al Qaeda in Iraq — which was on the ropes at the end of the surge in 2008 — has led to a substantial increase in ethno-sectarian terrorism in the Land of the Two Rivers. The civil war next door in Syria has complicated matters greatly, aiding the jihadists on both sides of the border and bringing greater Iranian involvement in Mesopotamia. And various actions by the Iraqi government have undermined the reconciliation initiatives of the surge that enabled the sense of Sunni Arab inclusion and contributed to the success of the venture.  Moreover, those Iraqi government actions have also prompted prominent Sunnis to withdraw from the government and led the Sunni population to take to the streets in protest.  As a result of all this, Iraqi politics are now mired in mistrust and dysfunction.

This is not a road that Iraqis had to travel. Indeed, by the end of the surge in 2008, a different future was possible.  That still seemed to be the case in December 2011, when the final U.S. forces (other than a sizable security assistance element) departed; however, the different future was possible only if Iraqi political leaders capitalized on the opportunities that were present.  Sadly, it appears that a number of those opportunities were squandered, as political infighting and ethno-sectarian actions reawakened the fears of Iraq’s Sunni Arab population and, until recently, also injected enormous difficulty into the relationship between the government in Baghdad and the leaders of the Kurdish Regional Government.

To understand the dynamics in Iraq — and the possibilities that still exist, it is necessary to revisit what actually happened during the surge, a history now explored in a forthcoming book written by my executive officer at the time, Col. (Ret.) Peter Mansoor, now a professor of military history at the Ohio State University.

Leading the coalition military effort during the surge in Iraq in 2007 and 2008 was the most important endeavor — and greatest challenge — of my 37 years in uniform. The situation in Iraq was dire at the end of 2006, when President George W. Bush decided to implement the surge and selected me to command it. Indeed, when I returned to Baghdad in early February 2007, I found the conditions there to be even worse than I had expected. The deterioration since I had left Iraq in September 2005 after my second tour was sobering. The violence — which had escalated dramatically in 2006 in the wake of the bombing of the Shiite al-Askari shrine in the Sunni city of Samarra — was totally out of control. With well over 50 attacks and three car bombs per day on average in Baghdad alone, the plan to hand off security tasks to Iraqi forces clearly was not working. Meanwhile, the sectarian battles on the streets were mirrored by infighting in the Iraqi government and Council of Representatives, and those disputes produced a dysfunctional political environment. With many of the oil pipelines damaged or destroyed, electrical towers toppled, roads in disrepair, local markets shuttered, and government workers and citizens fearing for their lives, government revenue was down and the provision of basic services was wholly inadequate. Life in many areas of the capital and the country was about little more than survival.

In addition to those challenges, I knew that if there was not clear progress by September 2007, when I anticipated having to return to the United States to testify before Congress in open hearings, the limited remaining support on Capitol Hill and in the United States for the effort in Iraq would evaporate.

In short, President Bush had staked the final years of his presidency — and his legacy — on the surge, and it was up to those on the ground to achieve progress. In the end, that is what we did together, military and civilian, coalition and Iraqi. But as my great diplomatic partner Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and I used to note, Iraq was « all hard, all the time. »

The Surge of Forces and the Surge of Ideas

The surge had many components. The most prominent, of course, was the deployment of the additional U.S. forces committed by President Bush — nearly 30,000 of them in the end. Without those forces, we never could have achieved progress as quickly as we did. And, given the necessity to make progress by the hearings anticipated in September 2007, improvements before then were critical.

As important as the surge of forces was, however, the most important surge was what I termed « the surge of ideas » — the changes in our overall strategy and operational plans. The most significant of these was the shift from trying to hand off security tasks to Iraqi forces to focusing on the security of the Iraqi people. The biggest of the big ideas that guided the strategy during the surge was explicit recognition that the most important terrain in the campaign in Iraq was the human terrain — the people — and our most important mission was to improve their security. Security improvements would, in turn, provide Iraq’s political leaders the opportunity to forge agreements on issues that would reduce ethno-sectarian disputes and establish the foundation on which other efforts could be built to improve the lives of the Iraqi people and give them a stake in the success of the new state.

But improved security could be achieved only by moving our forces into urban neighborhoods and rural population centers. In the first two weeks, therefore, I changed the mission statement in the existing campaign plan to reflect this imperative. As I explained in that statement and the guidance I issued shortly after taking command, we had to « live with the people » in order to secure them. This meant reversing the consolidation of our forces on large bases that had been taking place since the spring of 2004. Ultimately, this change in approach necessitated the establishment of more than 100 small outposts and joint security stations, three-quarters of them in Baghdad alone.

The establishment of each of the new bases entailed a fight, and some of those fights were substantial. We knew that the Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias would do everything they could to keep our troopers from establishing a presence in areas where the warring factions were trying to take control — and those areas were precisely where our forces were needed most. Needless to say, the insurgents and militias would do all that they could to keep us from establishing our new operating bases, sometimes even employing multiple suicide car bombers in succession in attempts to breach outpost perimeters. But if we were to achieve our goal of significantly reducing the violence, there was no alternative to living with the people — specifically, where the violence was the greatest — in order to secure them. Our men and women on the ground, increasingly joined during the surge by their Iraqi partners, courageously, selflessly, and skillfully did what was required to accomplish this goal.

« Clear, hold, and build » became the operative concept — a contrast with the previous practice in many operations of clearing insurgents and then leaving, after handing off the security mission to Iraqi forces that proved incapable of sustaining progress in the areas cleared. Then — Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq, and his staff developed and oversaw the execution of these and the other operational concepts brilliantly. Indeed, in anticipation of the new approach, he ordered establishment of the initial joint security stations in the weeks before I arrived.  His successor in early 2008, then Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, did a similarly exemplary job as our operational commander for the final portion of the surge. On receiving the Corps’ guidance, division and brigade commanders and their headquarters orchestrated the implementation of these concepts. And our company, battalion, and brigade commanders and their troopers translated the new strategy and operational concepts into reality on the ground in the face of determined, often barbaric enemies under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable.

But the new strategy encompassed much more than just moving off the big bases and focusing on security of the people. Improving security was necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve our goals in Iraq. Many other tasks also had to be accomplished.

The essence of the surge, in fact, was the pursuit of a comprehensive approach, a civil-military campaign that featured a number of important elements, the effects of each of which were expected to complement the effects of the others. The idea was that progress in one component of the strategy would make possible gains in other components. Each incremental step forward reinforced and gradually solidified overall progress in a particular geographic location or governmental sector. The surge forces clearly enabled more rapid implementation of the new strategy and accompanying operational concepts; however, without the changes in the strategy, the additional forces would not have achieved the gains in security and in other areas necessary for substantial reduction of the underlying levels of ethno-sectarian violence, without which progress would not have been sustained when responsibilities ultimately were transferred to Iraqi forces and government authorities.

The Sunni Awakening and Reconciliation

Beyond securing the people by living with them, foremost among the elements of the new strategy was promoting reconciliation between disaffected Sunni Arabs and our forces — and then with the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government. I often noted at the time that we would not be able to kill or capture our way out of the industrial-strength insurgency that confronted us in Iraq. Hence we had to identify those insurgents and militia members who were « reconcilable, » and we then had to persuade them to become part of the solution in Iraq rather than a continuing part of the problem. Reconciliation thus became a critical component of the overall strategy.

We were fortunate to be able to build on what ultimately came to be known as the Sunni Awakening, the initial increment of which began several months before the surge, outside the embattled Sunni city of Ramadi in violent Anbar Province, some 60 miles west of Baghdad. There, in the late summer of 2006, during the height of the violence in Anbar, Col. Sean MacFarland, a talented U.S. Army brigade commander, and his team agreed to support a courageous Sunni sheikh and his tribal members who decided to oppose al Qaeda in Iraq, which the tribesmen had come to despise for its indiscriminate attacks on the population and implementation of an extreme version of Islam that was not in line with their somewhat more secular outlook on life.  The initiative included empowering young men of the tribes who wanted to help secure their areas against al Qaeda depredations. Ultimately, shortly after the surge of forces commenced and throughout 2007 and into 2008, this arrangement was replicated over and over in other areas of Anbar Province and Iraq. The Awakening proved to be a hugely important factor in combating al Qaeda terrorists and other Sunni insurgents and, over time, similar initiatives in the Shiite population proved important in combating some militias in select areas as well.

Some observers have contended that we got lucky with the Awakening. Undeniably, it was fortunate that the initial development of a tribal rebellion against al Qaeda had begun by the time the surge began. Despite this reality, however, the spread of the Awakening beyond Ramadi was not serendipity; rather, it was the result of a conscious decision and a deliberate effort. I was well aware that there had previously been reconciliation initiatives that had worked in the short term. Indeed, I oversaw the first of these initiatives, in the summer of 2003, when I commanded the 101st Airborne Division in northern Iraq and Amb. Jerry Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, personally authorized me to support an Iraqi-led reconciliation effort. That effort helped make that part of Iraq surprisingly peaceful well into the fall of 2003, as the Sunni Arabs cast out of jobs and out of society by the de-Ba’athification policy still had hope of being part of the new Iraq in our area. Ultimately, however, that initiative, along with reconciliation efforts in subsequent years in western Anbar Province and elsewhere, foundered due to a lack of support by Iraqi authorities in Baghdad. I watched these initiatives during my second tour in Iraq, as commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq from June 2004 to September 2005.

Given my recognition of the importance of reconciliation, I was determined that we would support the nascent Awakening and then, over time, gain our Iraqi partners’ support, as well. In fact, my first trip outside Baghdad, shortly after taking command on Feb. 10, 2007, was to assess the progress of the initiative in Ramadi. After seeing the results of the Awakening up close, I quickly resolved that we would do all that we could to support the tribal rebellion there and also to foster its spread through other Sunni areas of Iraq. (Eventually, we also supported Shiite awakenings in some of the areas troubled by Shiite militias.) We would, in effect, seek to achieve a « critical mass » of awakenings that would set off a « chain reaction » as rapidly as was possible — initially up and down the Euphrates River Valley in Anbar Province and then into neighboring Sunni Arab areas of Iraq. Of equal importance, we would also seek the support of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for these initiatives. (I personally took him to Ramadi in March 2007 to speak to the tribal sheikhs leading the Awakening there, and I subsequently took him to other Sunni areas for similar endeavors as well.)

The decision to support the Awakening movement and, in essence, reconciliation carried considerable risk and was not initially embraced by all of our commanders. Many correctly pointed out that the leaders and members of the groups that wanted to reconcile with us — groups that might be willing to embrace the Awakening — had American blood on their hands. Beyond that, it was clear early on that Prime Minister Maliki was willing to allow us to support awakenings in strictly Sunni areas such as Anbar, but that he had understandable concerns about them when they approached areas of greater concern to his Shiite coreligionists; moreover, he also was not at all enthusiastic initially about providing Iraqi resources and assistance for what came to be known as the « Sons of Iraq, » the young men who helped augment coalition and Iraqi police and army forces in securing their tribal areas. Regardless, I was convinced that there was no alternative if we were to reduce the violence and divert key elements of the Sunni insurgency from their actual or tacit support for the actions of al Qaeda. So we pressed ahead and dealt with the many issues that arose along the way, helped initially by my first deputy, British Lt. Gen. Sir Graeme Lambe, a friend and colleague of many years, and then by the establishment of a Force Reconciliation Cell that was headed by a talented two-star British officer and an impressive senior U.S. diplomat.

Ultimately, the Awakening movement — and, in effect, reconciliation — did spread dramatically. There were many challenges as this transpired, especially when Prime Minister Maliki and other Shiite leaders developed concerns over the spread of the movement into Baghdad and areas near predominantly Shiite or mixed communities. Our reconciliation team — aided enormously by Emma Sky, a brilliant British woman who served as a special assistant to me during the latter part of the surge (having served as General Odierno’s political adviser earlier and subsequently) — worked tirelessly to deal with the seemingly endless list of issues and with the woman appointed by Prime Minister Maliki to oversee reconciliation initiatives for the Iraqi government. And, ultimately, a year and a half into the surge, we had on our payroll more than 100,000 « Sons of Iraq » (more than 20,000 of them Shiite), young men who lived in the areas of the Awakening movements and who then helped secure their neighborhoods from both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

In sum, the spread of the Awakening was not serendipity; it was the result of a deliberate decision I took soon after taking command. To be sure, the timing of the initiative outside Ramadi was fortuitous, but from even before taking command I knew that reconciliation had to take place if we were to reduce violence significantly by the fall of 2007. We thus were determined to capitalize on the Ramadi initiative by promoting the spread of Awakening movements and facilitating the resulting reconciliation among sects, tribes, and factions. I understood the numerous risks, and we took measures to ensure that Awakening movements and the « Sons of Iraq » did not turn into an unaccountable militia force that would cause more trouble for Iraq in the long run than they were worth in the near term. Looking back, the risks clearly were worth the resulting gains.

Targeted Special Operations

Another critical component of our comprehensive approach was an intensive campaign of targeted operations by U.S. and British Special Operations Forces to capture or kill key insurgent and militia leaders and operatives. Although I publicly acknowledged from the outset that we would not be able to kill or capture our way to victory (hence the need to support the Awakening), killing or capturing the most important of the « irreconcilables » was an inescapable and hugely important element of our strategy. Indeed, we sought to pursue key irreconcilables even more aggressively than was the case before the surge.

Then-Lt. Gen. Stan McChrystal, commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and the Counter-Terrorism Special Operations Task Force operating in Iraq, led this effort brilliantly. Our special operators were relentless in the pursuit of al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab extremist leaders, bomb makers, financiers, and propaganda cells — and of key Iranian-supported Shiite Arab extremists as well (though the latter effort was frequently constrained by Iraqi political factors, given the proclivities of the Shiite-led government). As the surge proceeded, the capacity and pace of U.S.- and coalition-targeted Special Operations under Lt. Gen. McChrystal and subsequently by then-Vice Adm. William H. McRaven increased substantially, as did the tempo of targeted operations by the Iraqi counterterrorist forces that we trained, equipped, advised, and also enabled with helicopters and various intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets. The results were dramatic: the targeted operations — as many as 10 to 15 per night — removed from the battlefield a significant proportion of the senior and midlevel extremist group leaders, explosives experts, planners, financiers, and organizers in Iraq. Looking back, it is clear that what the American and British special operators accomplished, aided enormously by various intelligence elements, was nothing short of extraordinary. Their relentless operations, employment of unmanned aerial vehicles and other advanced technology, tactical skill, courage, and creativity were truly inspirational. But by themselves they did not and could not turn the tide of battle in Iraq; once again, the key was a comprehensive approach, in which this element, like the others, was necessary but not sufficient.

The Development of Iraqi Security Forces

Supporting the development of the Iraqi Security Forces was also vitally important — and an effort with which I was intimately familiar, as I had led the establishment of the so-called « train and equip » organization and commanded the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq for the first 15 and a half months of the organization’s existence, during which I was also dual-hatted as the first commander of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq.

Although I halted the transition of tasks from coalition to Iraqi forces shortly after I took command, we knew that ultimately such transitions would be essential to our ability to draw down our forces and send them home. As President Bush used to observe, « U.S. forces will stand down as the Iraqi forces stand up. » We knew that ultimately the U.S. military could not support the replacement of the five surge brigades and the other additional forces deployed to Iraq in 2007. It thus was imperative that Iraqi forces be ready by the latter part of 2007 to assume broader duties so that coalition forces could begin to draw down and the surge forces could go home. Beyond that, Iraqi leaders, frequently with unrealistically elevated assessments of the capabilities of their security forces, repeatedly advocated the continued transition of security and governance tasks — a desire that was commendable, if sometimes premature.

Under the capable leadership of then-Lt. Gen. Marty Dempsey and his successor, Lt. Gen. Jim Dubik, the train-and-equip mission steadily expanded its efforts not just to develop Iraqi army, police, border, and special operations units but also to build all of the institutions of the Ministries of Interior and Defense, their subordinate headquarters and elements, and the infrastructure and systems needed for what ultimately grew to a total of 1 million members of the Iraqi security forces.

These tasks required Herculean efforts. Our programs supported every aspect of Iraqi military and police recruiting, individual and collective training, leader development (for example, the creation of basic training complexes, a military academy, branch schools, a staff college, a war college, and a training and doctrine command), equipping Iraqi forces with everything from vehicles and individual weapons to tanks and aircraft, the conduct of combat operations (with advisory teams at every level from battalion and above), development of logistical organizations and depots, construction of tactical and training bases and infrastructure, establishment of headquarters and staffs, and, as noted earlier, the development of all of the elements of the ministries themselves. Indeed, it is hard for anyone who did not see this endeavor firsthand to appreciate its magnitude. Additionally, progress required our Iraqi counterparts to replace substantial numbers of senior army and police leaders who proved to be sectarian, corrupt, or ineffective in the performance of their duties before or during the early months of the surge. Fortunately, Prime Minister Maliki and his senior military and police leaders proved willing to undertake the vast majority of the necessary changes.

Over time, we and our Iraqi counterparts achieved slow but steady progress in building the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces. With effective partnering of Iraqi and U.S. forces, Iraqi forces steadily shouldered more of the burdens and took over more tasks. They also increasingly bore the brunt of combat operations, with their losses totaling several times those of coalition forces. I often noted to the president, the prime minister, and others, in fact, that as the surge proceeded, Iraqi security forces clearly were fighting and dying for their country. Progressively, over the months and years that followed, the coalition turned over responsibility for security tasks to Iraqi forces until, at the end of 2011, Iraqi elements assumed all security tasks on their own, with only a residual U.S. office of security cooperation remaining in Iraq.

The Civilian Components

The comprehensive strategy employed during the surge also had significant civilian components. Indeed, Ambassador Crocker and I worked hard to develop unity of effort in all that our respective organizations and coalition and Iraqi partners did. The campaign plan we developed in the spring of 2007, in fact, was a joint effort of my command, Multi-National Force-Iraq, and the U.S. embassy, with considerable input from coalition partners such as Britain. (This civil-military plan built on the partnership that my predecessor, Gen. George Casey, had developed with then-U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, albeit with the changes in strategic and operational concepts that I have described.) And over time, our plan was also, of course, synchronized in close coordination with our Iraqi counterparts. Appropriately, the mission statement in the campaign plan we finalized in the early summer of 2007 included many nonmilitary aspects, highlighting the combined approach on which we all embarked together.

As security improved, the tasks in the civilian arena took on greater importance. It was critical, for example, that we worked with our coalition and Iraqi civilian partners to help repair damaged infrastructure, restore basic services, rebuild local markets, reopen schools and health facilities, and support the reestablishment of the corrections and judicial systems and other governmental institutions. While not determinative by themselves, such improvements gave Iraqi citizens tangible reasons to support the new Iraq and reject the extremists, insurgents, and militia members who had caused such hardship for them.

To facilitate and coordinate such efforts, each brigade and division headquarters was provided an embedded provincial reconstruction team of approximately a dozen civilian and military experts (often led by retired diplomats and development specialists). The U.S. Congress also provided the units substantial funding (through the Commander’s Emergency Response Program) to help with these efforts (and the U.S. embassy and some coalition nations did likewise through their sources of funding). Again, over time, progress in these initiatives proved essential to gaining the support of the Iraqi people for their government and to turning the people against both Sunni and Shiite extremists. These tasks were huge and often expensive, but they were essential to gradually improving basic services and other aspects of life for the Iraqi people. With steadily improving security and with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers taking on the oversight of the larger reconstruction projects for the embassy as well as for the military, the effort moved forward relatively well, although there were innumerable challenges, including security issues, corruption, design and management shortfalls, and so on. But even in the face of such obstacles, substantial reconstruction progress was nonetheless achieved.

Detainee Operations and Rule-of-Law Initiatives

Another important component of the comprehensive approach was the conduct of detainee operations. In this area also, we had to implement significant changes. The scope of this effort was enormous. In fact, the number of detainees in U.S.-administered facilities reached 27,000 after I temporarily halted releases until we could implement programs that provided a review process for the detainees in our facilities and could establish rehabilitation and reintegration programs to reduce the recidivism rate of those we released back to their communities.

Early on in the surge, it was clear to many of us that the detainee facilities we were operating had become breeding grounds for extremism. Indeed, some of our special operators, having recaptured the same individuals more than once, began calling our facilities « terrorist universities. » We were, to be sure, providing humane treatment; however, we had not identified and segregated from the general detainee population the hardcore extremists. Until that was done, the extremists asserted control (often brutally) in the facility enclosures — some of which contained up to 800 detainees — and spread extremist thinking and expertise among the detainee population. It became clear that we had to carry out « counterinsurgency operations inside the wire » in order to identify and separate from the detainee population the irreconcilables, just as we sought to do outside the wire in Iraqi communities. The leadership of Marine Maj. Gen. Doug Stone and of those who led the elements that constituted our detainee operations task force was instrumental in this component of our overall campaign. And the performance of the thousands of soldiers, airmen, and sailors who carried out the myriad duties in the facilities — individuals who often had been retrained from other specialties to augment the limited number of military police detention specialists available in the U.S. Army — was equally impressive.

Over time, Maj. Gen. Stone’s team also began helping our Iraqi partners as they sought to increase their own capacity and to build the prison infrastructure to conduct Iraqi corrections operations. This was another significant U.S. civil-military effort, and it was complemented by a similarly large civil-military initiative to help the Iraqis reestablish their judicial system and to rebuild the infrastructure to support it.

Then-Col. Mark Martins led the judicial support effort on the military side, staying in Iraq for two full years — as he was later also to do in Afghanistan — to oversee it, even as he also served as my senior legal counsel. The scope of this civil-military endeavor was enormous, encompassing construction of judicial facilities, training of judicial security elements, and support for reestablishment of judicial systems and structures. Partners from the U.S. State Department, Department of Justice, FBI, and other government agencies also played key roles in this substantial effort.

Another important initiative that supported the overall campaign was the effort to improve our intelligence about the various extremist elements and what was going on in Iraq more broadly. Here again, we pursued civil-military programs to build our capabilities (including fusion cells started under General Casey at each division headquarters to bring together all elements of the U.S. intelligence community); to expand the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets available (everything from drones to cameras on towers); to build a massive database that our analysts could use to identify correlations and linkages between individuals and organizations; and to improve intelligence sharing with coalition and Iraqi partners. We also established human terrain teams at each brigade headquarters to help our commanders understand in a more granular manner the composition, power structures, customs, and views of the Iraqi people in their areas of responsibility. And we extended secure Internet access to unprecedented levels (down to most company headquarters) within our organizations, as well. Counterinsurgency operations depend on a keen understanding of the political, historical, cultural, economic, and military situation in each area, and our initiatives built on those begun earlier in the war to further our understanding of the dynamics of each province, district, and community. Truly understanding the human terrain was vital to our ability to improve its security.

The Iraqi Political Component and Strategic Communications

The heart of the struggle in Iraq was a competition for power and resources between the major factions in the country — the majority Shiite Arabs and the minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds. (There were subfactions of each group as well, of course, in addition to other minority sects and ethnicities such as Turkoman, Yezidis, and Iraqi Christians, among others.) Achieving enduring progress in Iraq thus required achievement of political agreements on a host of key issues that divided the various factions. Consequently, seeking to foster agreement on such issues was yet another important component of the overall approach, and it developed into one to which Ambassador Crocker and I devoted considerable focus and effort. During the course of the surge, there were important laws passed and initiatives agreed upon — for example, a provincial powers act, an elections law, a reform of the de-Ba’athification decree, an amnesty law, and so forth; however, it was in this area that the most additional progress was (and still is) needed. Nonetheless, the surge made politics once again the operative mechanism through which Iraqis would divide power and resources — even as they struggled to create the political impetus and find the common ground to seize the moment and the opportunity offered to them.

Strategic communications, or public affairs, was another important element of the campaign. My guidance here was clear: we should seek to « be first with the truth, » to be as forthright as possible, to provide information on all developments and not just « good news, » and to avoid the practice of « putting lipstick on pigs » (trying to make bad news look good through spin). This also meant highlighting the violent acts carried out by al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents, as well as those carried out by Shiite extremists. Hanging around the neck of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was the assassination of Shiite police chiefs and governors and the violent acts of his followers in the holy city of Karbala in the summer of 2007, for example, which contributed to his decision to order his militia to stand down until the following March. (Of course, increased pressure by coalition and Iraqi forces and Prime Minister Maliki’s courageous confrontation with the militia members in Karbala contributed to Sadr’s decision, as well.) Clearly establishing in the eyes of the Iraqi people that Iranian elements were supporting members of the most violent Shiite militias also helped turn some Iraqis against Tehran’s meddling in their country. And fostering concepts of integrity in government and pride in the Iraqi security forces, as well as awareness of what was being achieved by coalition and Iraqi efforts — even while acknowledging our shortfalls and mistakes — was all part of a comprehensive strategic communications campaign. Like most of our other efforts, this campaign was increasingly coordinated with — and, over time, replaced by — Iraqi efforts.

There were, of course, many other components of the overall campaign: engagement with religious and academic leaders, jobs programs, support for governance at all levels, initiatives to attract outside investment back to Iraq, work with countries in the region to reengage with Baghdad and to prevent their young men from traveling to Iraq to join the extremist elements, initiatives to improve security on the borders and to reestablish customs and immigrations facilities, and programs to reduce terrorist and insurgent financing. But the elements I have outlined were the major components of the comprehensive civil-military campaign plan that guided our operations and activities. Each was of central importance to the achievement of progress during the course of the surge and accomplishments in each component reinforced and made possible further steps forward in other areas — the cumulative effect of which was considerable by the end of the surge in July 2008. Indeed, some of the various facets of our strategy continue to contribute to the situation in Iraq today, even after all U.S. combat forces have left the country, despite the considerable backsliding in the political and security situation.

Once again, it is important to note that the surge was all of the above, a comprehensive civil-military campaign, not just a substantial number of additional forces. The extra forces were critical to achieving progress as rapidly as we did, but they would not have been enough without the other components of the campaign.

The Magnitude of the Difficulty

As I’ve made clear, all of this was extraordinarily difficult and carried out in an environment of tremendous violence and frustratingly difficult Iraqi political discord. Moreover, we knew — and I stated publicly on numerous occasions — that the situation in Iraq would get worse before it got better. That proved true. There was no way to stop the violence without confronting those responsible for it. And there was no way that we could do that without putting our troopers and those of the Iraqi forces on the sectarian battle lines in Baghdad and elsewhere, especially in the areas most affected by al Qaeda terrorists and sectarian militias. When we did that, the insurgents and militia members predictably fought back. Consequently, violence rose throughout the first five months of the surge, reaching a crescendo in May and June, to well over 200 attacks per day, before beginning to abate and then falling fairly rapidly in July, August, and September of 2007.

The decline in violence overall, and the substantial reduction in car bombings in particular, as well as gradual improvements in a number of other areas of our effort made possible by the improved security, enabled Ambassador Crocker and me to report guarded progress in congressional hearings in September 2007. While highly charged emotionally at the time, those hearings gained us critical additional time and support, without which it is likely that the mission in Iraq would have failed. And, after we were able to report further progress when we testified again in April 2008, having already commenced the drawdown of the surge as well, we were able to gain still further time and support for our efforts in Iraq.

The progress continued throughout the remainder of the surge and beyond, with periodic upticks in violence, to be sure, but with the overall trajectory positive, despite continued inability to resolve many of the major political issues that divided the Iraqi people. Nonetheless, the comprehensive civil-military endeavor pursued during the surge made it possible over time to transfer tasks from U.S. and other coalition forces to Iraqi soldiers and police and, ultimately, for the United States to withdraw its final combat elements at the end of 2011 without a precipitate descent back into the violence and civil conflict that made the surge necessary in the first place. None of this could have been possible were it not for the extraordinary sacrifices and service of the men and women in uniform in Iraq during the surge and their diplomatic, intelligence, and development community partners.

At the highest level, President Bush’s decision to conduct the surge was exceedingly courageous. His advisers were split on the decision, with many favoring other approaches that in my view would have failed. And as the going did get tougher over the early months of the surge, President Bush’s steadfast leadership and his personal commitment to seeing the war through to a successful conclusion (albeit one that might take many years to unfold) took on enormous significance.

I was privileged, together with Ambassador Crocker, to participate in a weekly video teleconference with the president and the members of the National Security Council. It began promptly at 7:30 a.m. Washington time each Monday, thereby ensuring that all participants were focused at the start of the week on the mission to which the president had given his total commitment. I do not believe that any battlefield commander ever had that frequency of contact with his commander in chief, and it was of vital importance to me, as was the support of Secretary of Defense Bob Gates.

I also had a weekly video teleconference with Secretary Gates, who personally drove forward a number of programs of incalculable value to our men and women on the ground, programs such as the accelerated production of mine-resistant, ambush-protected MRAP vehicles; a huge increase in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets (such as Predator unmanned aerial vehicles and optics on towers, among many others); and a host of individual protective systems and enablers for our troopers — not to mention the additional forces that I requested once I got on the ground and identified additional needs beyond those addressed by the initial surge force commitment. Secretary Gates and all of us in Iraq were supported enormously, as well, by Gen. Pete Pace and then Adm. Mike Mullen, the two officers who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the surge. General Pace and Admiral Mullen also did yeoman service in maintaining the support of the military service chiefs who were understandably under enormous strain to produce the forces that we needed, while also gradually increasing the effort in Afghanistan, as it began to go downhill. At one point, of course, this required the extension of the tours in Iraq and Afghanistan from 12 to 15 months, an enormous sacrifice to ask of our men and women there and their families at home, but one that proved hugely important to the campaign.

President Bush’s commitment had an enormous psychological effect on our men and women in Iraq, as well as on the Iraqi people. Our troopers recognized that we had a chance to do what was needed to reverse the terrible cycle of violence that had gripped Iraq in the throes of civil war. And the citizens of the Land of the Two Rivers realized that there was still hope that the new Iraq could realize the potential that so many had hoped for in the wake of the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the collapse of the Ba’athist regime in 2003.

Commanding MNF-I

I recognized early on that I had become the face of the surge. I had not asked for this role, but whether I liked it or not, I had to fill it. Beyond that, of course, it was essential that I determine the right big ideas (with lots to help, to be sure), provide clear direction, communicate that direction in all possible forms, and then oversee the implementation of the resulting plans. It was also critical that I spend time with our troopers on the ground, that I share a measure of risk with them, and that I give encouragement and provide cautious optimism that we could, indeed, achieve the objectives we’d set out for ourselves and our Iraqi partners. In truth, from the beginning I believed that our approach was correct and that we would achieve progress; however, there were undeniably moments when I was uncertain whether we could achieve sufficient progress quickly enough to report that to Congress by September 2007. On more than one occasion as the early months went by, in fact, I sat alone with Gen. Odierno after our morning updates and discussed with him when we thought the situation was going « to turn. » No theater commander ever had a better « operational architect » than I had in him.

As the coalition commander, I also had extensive contact with the military and civilian leaders and legislators of the countries contributing forces to the coalition and also, of course, with Prime Minister Maliki and our key Iraqi partners from all sectors of the population. I had considerable interaction as well with the U.S., international, and Iraqi press. In the latter effort, as with the leaders of the coalition countries, I worked hard to avoid projecting unfounded optimism. When asked whether I was an optimist or a pessimist, for example, I typically replied, « I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist; rather, I am a realist. And reality is that Iraq is all hard, all the time. » I would then note the progress we’d achieved and setbacks we’d suffered in recent weeks. I worked hard, in fact, to maintain credibility with coalition leaders and the media, as well as with our troopers and their Iraqi counterparts. The provision of realistic assessments was hugely important and ranked among the biggest of the many « rocks » in my personal rucksack.

Needless to say, it was the greatest of privileges to serve with the selfless men and women, Iraqi and American and those of our coalition partners, civilian as well as military, who did the hard, dangerous work of the surge. There seldom was an easy period; each day was tough. But those on the ground consistently demonstrated the skill, initiative, determination, and courage needed to turn the big ideas at my level into reality at their levels and in their areas of responsibility. They also displayed the flexibility that was required to ensure that Multi-National Force-Iraq was a learning organization, one that could react faster and display greater adaptability than our terrorist, insurgent, and militia opponents. As the surge progressed, the men and women I was privileged to command continually refined tactics, techniques, and procedures, and they ultimately defeated their enemies in both the physical and intellectual manifestations of counterinsurgency battle.

Because of the complexity of counterinsurgency operations and the mixture of military and civilian tasks that they entail, it is sometimes said that counterinsurgency is the graduate level of warfare. However debatable that assessment may be, there is no question that the men and women of the surge demonstrated a true mastery of all that was required to conduct such operations. As I often noted in later years, they earned the recognition accorded them as « America’s New Greatest Generation. »

The Road Ahead

In many respects, Iraq today looks tragically similar to the Iraq of 2006, complete with increasing numbers of horrific, indiscriminate attacks by Iraq’s al Qaeda affiliate and its network of extremists. Add to that the ongoing sectarian civil war in Syria — which is, in many aspects, a regional conflict being fought there — and the situation in Iraq looks even more complicated than it was in 2006 and thus even more worrisome — especially given the absence of American combat forces.

As Iraqi leaders consider the way forward, they would do well to remember what had to be done the last time the levels of violence escalated so terribly. If Iraqi leaders think back to that time, they will recall that the surge was not just more forces, though the additional forces were very important. What mattered most was the surge of ideas — concepts that embraced security of the people by « living with them, » initiatives to promote reconciliation with elements of the population that felt they had no incentive to support the new Iraq, ramping up of precise operations that targeted the key « irreconcilables, » the embrace of an enhanced comprehensive civil-military approach, increased attention to various aspects of the rule of law, improvements to infrastructure and basic services, and support for various political actions that helped bridge ethno-sectarian divides.

The ideas that enabled progress during the surge are, in many respects, the very ideas that could help Iraq’s leaders reverse the tragic downward spiral that we have seen in recent months. As we discovered in the run-up to the surge of 2007, a singular focus on counterterrorist operations will most likely fail to stem the violence gripping Iraq. If Iraq and the Iraqis are to have yet one more opportunity to move forward, they would likely find it useful to revisit the entire array of approaches pursued in 2007 and 2008. It is heartening, thus, to know that some of the veterans of the surge, American as well as Iraqi, are engaged in the effort to help Iraq determine and then pursue the initiatives needed to address the terrible increase in violence in that country. This is a time for them to work together to help Iraqi leaders take the initiative, especially in terms of reaching across the sectarian and ethnic divides that have widened in such a worrisome manner.  It is not too late for such action, but time is running short.


Gaza: La continuation de la Solution finale par d’autres moyens (The continuation of genocide by other means: Will the world ever understand Hamas’s real objective?)

20 août, 2014
C’est le djihad final Groupons-nous et demain L’Internationale sera le genre humain … Air connu
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique aspire à l’accomplissement de la promesse de Dieu, quel que soit le temps nécessaire. L’Apôtre de Dieu -que Dieu lui donne bénédiction et paix- a dit : « L’Heure ne viendra pas avant que les musulmans n’aient combattu les Juifs (c’est à dire que les musulmans ne les aient tués), avant que les Juifs ne se fussent cachés derrière les pierres et les arbres et que les pierres et les arbres eussent dit : ‘Musulman, serviteur de Dieu ! Un Juif se cache derrière moi, viens et tue-le. Charte du Hamas (article 7)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique croit que la Palestine est un Waqf islamique consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jugement Dernier. Pas une seule parcelle ne peut en être dilapidée ou abandonnée à d’autres. Aucun pays arabe, président arabe ou roi arabe, ni tous les rois et présidents arabes réunis, ni une organisation même palestinienne n’a le droit de le faire. La Palestine est un Waqf musulman consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Qui peut prétendre avoir le droit de représenter les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier ? Tel est le statut de la terre de Palestine dans la Charia, et il en va de même pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam et devenues terres de Waqf dès leur conquête, pour être consacrées à toutes les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Il en est ainsi depuis que les chefs des armées islamiques ont conquis les terres de Syrie et d’Irak et ont demandé au Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, s’ils devaient partager ces terres entre les soldats ou les laisser à leurs propriétaires. Suite à des consultations et des discussions entre le Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, et les compagnons du Prophète, Allah le bénisse, il fut décidé que la terre soit laissée à ses propriétaires pour qu’ils profitent de ses fruits. Cependant, la propriété véritable et la terre même doit être consacrée aux seuls musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Ceux qui se trouvent sur ces terres peuvent uniquement profiter de ses fruits. Ce waqf persiste tant que le Ciel et la Terre existent. Toute procédure en contradiction avec la Charia islamique en ce qui concerne la Palestine est nulle et non avenue.« C’est la vérité infaillible. Célèbre le nom d’Allah le Très-Haut » (Coran, LVI, 95-96). Charte du Hamas (article 11)
Comme le Hamas le fait savoir à qui veut, il est braqué sur « la fin de l’occupation de la Palestine » – autrement dit mettre fin à l’existence d’Israël. Malheureusement, trop peu de gens le comprennent. Naturellement consternés par la mort et la dévastation dans la bande de Gaza, beaucoup de gens dans le monde, l’homme de la rue comme les dirigeants politiques, confondent la cause et la conséquence. Le Hamas ne cherche pas la liberté pour le peuple de Gaza quand il exige la « levée du siège », un port et un aéroport, et quand il tire des roquettes parce que ses exigences ne sont pas respectées. Il est, au contraire, à la recherche de la capacité de poursuivre son objectif de rayer Israël et donc de bloquer toutes ces pénibles restrictions sur sa capacité à construire une machine de guerre encore plus puissante. Le blocus israélo-égyptien n’est pas antérieur à la saisie violente de Gaza par le Hamas en 2007 ; il a été imposé après que les islamistes en aient pris le contrôle, et serait supprimé si la sécurité d’Israël n’était pas menacée par le Hamas et ses compagnons islamistes. Vous voulez alléger les souffrances des Israéliens ordinaires mais aussi des Gazaouis ordinaires ? Mettre fin au Hamas. Vous voulez au contraire leur assurer une plus grande souffrance ? Levez le blocus avec un Hamas toujours aux commandes. Effusions de sang garanties… (…) Mais c’est seulement si le Hamas croit que sa survie est en danger qu’il mettra un terme au feu. Et il faudrait une opération militaire beaucoup plus importante que le gouvernement israélien, conscient de ses conséquences en pertes probables, se prépare peut-être à mettre en place. Il faudrait aussi une évaluation bien différente du conflit par la communauté internationale – moins partiale et plus ingénieuse – afin de fournir un soutien plus fiable à Israël. (…)  le Hamas (…) a signé un gouvernement d’unité avec Abbas au printemps dernier comme une étape vers la prise du pouvoir de l’Autorité palestinienne. En même temps, comme le Shin Bet l’a révélé lundi, il se préparait à une série d’attaques terroristes contre des cibles israéliennes, dans un complot élaboré visant à favoriser une troisième intifada et à renverser Abbas. Le Hamas ne se mettra jamais dans une position docile par rapport à Abbas. Au détriment des habitants de Gaza et des Israéliens, le Hamas n’est pas prêt à s’en remettre docilement à Abbas ni à personne. Le business du Hamas n’est pas de gouverner Gaza ; c’est celui du terrorisme. David Horowitz

Attention: une Solution finale peut en cacher une autre !

Alors que fidèle à lui-même le Hamas a repris, de son aveu même, sa véritable raison d’être …

A savoir la « fin de l’occupation de la Palestine » …

Qui, comme le rappelle The Times of Israel, est prêt à comprendre que sa revendication du lever du blocus égypto-israélien censé motiver ses attaques …

N’est autre, à l’instar de ses partenaires du djihad final, que la continuation par d’autres moyens de la Solution finale au problème palestinien ?

Un Hamas cynique et difficile à décourager

Le business du Hamas n’est pas de gouverner Gaza ; c’est celui de mettre fin à l’existence d’Israël par le biais du terrorisme

David Horowitz

The Times of Israel

20 août 2014

David est le fondateur et le rédacteur en chef du Times of Israel. Il était auparavant rédacteur en chef du … [Plus]

Jusqu’à un certain point, il pourrait être utile d’entendre ce que le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu a dit depuis le début de l’opération « Bordure protectrice » il y a déjà six semaines : Israël doit se préparer à un long conflit.

Alors que les tirs de roquettes sur Beer Sheva mardi après-midi marquaient la dernière série de violations de la trêve du Hamas, l’idée qu’une sorte d’arrangement durable allait bientôt émerger des négociations indirectes au Caire (une notion largement médiatisée ces derniers jours) a été brisée à nouveau, et de manière brutale.

Netanyahu n’est pas sur le point d’approuver un accord qui donnerait au Hamas une quelconque récompense diplomatique suite aux tirs de 3 500 roquettes sur Israël, à la construction d’un réseau complexe de tunnels d’attaque sous la frontière, et à sa volonté de garder les citoyens de Gaza – et dans une certaine mesure ceux d’Israël – comme des otages de sa machine de guerre élaborée.

Le problème du Premier ministre – et d’Israël – est que le Hamas est encore trop fort, et que le Hamas sera toujours trop cynique, pour être dissuadé par la réponse d’Israël à ces attaques incessantes. Le Hamas a perdu des dizaines de ses tunnels, et peut-être 1 000 de ses hommes armés, et a plaidé pour un cessez-le-feu, croyant apparemment pouvoir négocier une solution diplomatique plus satisfaisante que ce que lui avait coûté le face-à-face militaire.

Mais la plupart de ses « combattants d’élite » demeurent encore en vie. Le Hamas possède encore des milliers de roquettes ; il est capable d’en fabriquer à mi-conflit.

Son leadership politique local est encore sain et sauf dans le sous-sol de Gaza. Son leadership à l’étranger est, lui, encore en meilleure forme, dorloté par le Qatar. Et il ne se soucie pas le moins du monde de la souffrance que son extrémisme islamiste violent apporte aux habitants de Gaza (une proportion très importante d’entre eux avaient voté pour le Hamas aux élections législatives relativement démocratiques de 2006).

Comme le Hamas le fait savoir à qui veut, il est braqué sur « la fin de l’occupation de la Palestine » – autrement dit mettre fin à l’existence d’Israël. Malheureusement, trop peu de gens le comprennent. Naturellement consternés par la mort et la dévastation dans la bande de Gaza, beaucoup de gens dans le monde, l’homme de la rue comme les dirigeants politiques, confondent la cause et la conséquence.

Le Hamas ne cherche pas la liberté pour le peuple de Gaza quand il exige la « levée du siège », un port et un aéroport, et quand il tire des roquettes parce que ses exigences ne sont pas respectées. Il est, au contraire, à la recherche de la capacité de poursuivre son objectif de rayer Israël et donc de bloquer toutes ces pénibles restrictions sur sa capacité à construire une machine de guerre encore plus puissante.

Le blocus israélo-égyptien n’est pas antérieur à la saisie violente de Gaza par le Hamas en 2007 ; il a été imposé après que les islamistes en aient pris le contrôle, et serait supprimé si la sécurité d’Israël n’était pas menacée par le Hamas et ses compagnons islamistes.

Vous voulez alléger les souffrances des Israéliens ordinaires mais aussi des Gazaouis ordinaires ? Mettre fin au Hamas. Vous voulez au contraire leur assurer une plus grande souffrance ? Levez le blocus avec un Hamas toujours aux commandes. Effusions de sang garanties…

A ce jour, Netanyahu a rappelé ses négociateurs du Caire – parce qu’Israël ne négocierait pas sous le feu – et l’armée israélienne répond aux tirs de roquettes du Hamas par des frappes ciblées dans la bande de Gaza. Si les tirs de roquettes se poursuivent, Israël continuera à riposter.

Mais c’est seulement si le Hamas croit que sa survie est en danger qu’il mettra un terme au feu. Et il faudrait une opération militaire beaucoup plus importante que le gouvernement israélien, conscient de ses conséquences en pertes probables, se prépare peut-être à mettre en place. Il faudrait aussi une évaluation bien différente du conflit par la communauté internationale – moins partiale et plus ingénieuse – afin de fournir un soutien plus fiable à Israël.

Israël a cherché à atteindre un résultat similaire par le biais des négociations indirectes au Caire ces derniers jours – pousser, en alliance avec l’Egypte, un arrangement qui donnerait à l’Autorité palestinienne de Mahmoud Abbas un rôle de supervision dans la réhabilitation de Gaza, et laisser au Hamas le rôle du « destructeur ».

Bien sur, avec la reprise, mardi, des tirs de roquettes, le Hamas est enclin à jouer ce rôle. Il a signé un gouvernement d’unité avec Abbas au printemps dernier comme une étape vers la prise du pouvoir de l’Autorité palestinienne. En même temps, comme le Shin Bet l’a révélé lundi, il se préparait à une série d’attaques terroristes contre des cibles israéliennes, dans un complot élaboré visant à favoriser une troisième intifada et à renverser Abbas.

Le Hamas ne se mettra jamais dans une position docile par rapport à Abbas. Au détriment des habitants de Gaza et des Israéliens, le Hamas n’est pas prêt à s’en remettre docilement à Abbas ni à personne. Le business du Hamas n’est pas de gouverner Gaza ; c’est celui du terrorisme et comme tous les autres groupes terroristes, il est difficile de le mettre à mal.

Comme l’a dit Netanyahu il y a six semaines, Israël devrait se préparer à un conflit prolongé. Plus long, peut-on craindre, que ce qu’il avait lui-même envisagé.


Islam: C’est l’Apocalypse, imbécile ! (This is the final jihad: It’s the book of Revelation, stupid !)

18 août, 2014
Puis je vis descendre du ciel un ange, qui avait la clef de l’abîme et une grande chaîne dans sa main. Il saisit le dragon, le serpent ancien, qui est le diable et Satan, et il le lia pour mille ans. Il le jeta dans l’abîme, ferma et scella l’entrée au-dessus de lui, afin qu’il ne séduisît plus les nations, jusqu’à ce que les mille ans fussent accomplis. Après cela, il faut qu’il soit délié pour un peu de temps. Et je vis des trônes; et à ceux qui s’y assirent fut donné le pouvoir de juger. Et je vis les âmes de ceux qui avaient été décapités à cause du témoignage de Jésus et à cause de la parole de Dieu, et de ceux qui n’avaient pas adoré la bête ni son image, et qui n’avaient pas reçu la marque sur leur front et sur leur main. Ils revinrent à la vie, et ils régnèrent avec Christ pendant mille ans. Les autres morts ne revinrent point à la vie jusqu’à ce que les mille ans fussent accomplis. C’est la première résurrection. Heureux et saints ceux qui ont part à la première résurrection! La seconde mort n’a point de pouvoir sur eux; mais ils seront sacrificateurs de Dieu et de Christ, et ils régneront avec lui pendant mille ans. Quand les mille ans seront accomplis, Satan sera relâché de sa prison. Et il sortira pour séduire les nations qui sont aux quatre coins de la terre, Gog et Magog, afin de les rassembler pour la guerre; leur nombre est comme le sable de la mer. Et ils montèrent sur la surface de la terre, et ils investirent le camp des saints et la ville bien-aimée. Mais un feu descendit du ciel, et les dévora. Apocalypse 20: 1-9
C’est la lutte finale Groupons-nous et demain L’Internationale Sera le genre humain … Refrain bien connu
Le soir, vous dites: Il fera beau, car le ciel est rouge; et le matin: Il y aura de l’orage aujourd’hui, car le ciel est d’un rouge sombre. Vous savez discerner l’aspect du ciel, et vous ne pouvez discerner les signes des temps. Jésus (Matthieu 16 : 2-3)
Jusqu’à présent, les textes de l’Apocalypse faisaient rire. Tout l’effort de la pensée moderne a été de séparer le culturel du naturel. La science consiste à montrer que les phénomènes culturels ne sont pas naturels et qu’on se trompe forcément si on mélange les tremblements de terre et les rumeurs de guerre, comme le fait le texte de l’Apocalypse. Mais, tout à coup, la science prend conscience que les activités de l’homme sont en train de détruire la nature. C’est la science qui revient à l’Apocalypse. René Girard
J’annonce au monde entier, sans la moindre hésitation, que si les dévoreurs du monde se dressent contre notre religion, nous nous dresserons contre leur monde entier et n’auront de cesse avant d’avoir annihilé la totalité d’entre eux. Ou nous tous obtiendrons la liberté, ou nous opterons pour la liberté plus grande encore du martyre. Ou nous applaudirons la victoire de l’Islam dans le monde, ou nous tous irons vers la vie éternelle et le martyre. Dans les deux cas, la victoire et le succès nous sont assurés. Ayatollah Khomeiny
La possibilité d’une annihilation existe. Le projet sioniste entier est apocalyptique. Il existe dans un environnement hostile et dans un certain sens son existence n’est pas raisonnable. (…) Oui, je pense à Armageddon. C’est possible. Dans les vingt prochaines années, il pourrait y avoir une guerre atomique ici. Benny Morris
Dans l’Islam, de même que dans le Judaïsme et le Christianisme, certaines croyances portent sur une bataille cosmique marquant la fin des temps – Gog et Magog, l’Antéchrist, Armageddon et, pour les Musulmans chiites, le retour tant attendu de l’Imam caché, qui doit déboucher sur la victoire finale des forces du bien sur celles du mal, quelle qu’en soit la définition. Il est évident qu’Ahmadinejad et ses adeptes croient que ce temps est venu et que la lutte finale est déjà entamée, et même bien avancée. Bernard Lewis
Vous comprendrez d’autant mieux la perplexité de Jacques Chirac qui a entendu, un jour de 2003, George W. Bush lui expliquer qu’il fallait intervenir militairement en Irak, parce que Gog et Magog y étaient à l’œuvre. Quand il livre ses convictions les plus intimes sur la politique proche-orientale, George W. Bush ne pense donc pas au pétrole ou à des bases susceptibles d’accueillir ses GI. Il ne parle ni d’économie ni de géostratégie. Il réagit comme un croyant qui attend que se réalise une prophétie biblique… (…) Comme ni Jacques Chirac ni ses services n’ont compris la référence du président américain, Paris s’est mis au travail. George W. Bush appartenant à la mouvance chrétienne évangélique, l’Élysée s’est orienté vers les protestants de France, qui ont transmis la requête à Thomas Römer. Jocelyn Rochat
Dans le vocabulaire politique, l’expression « millénarisme » peut servir à désigner, de manière métaphorique, une forme de doctrine aspirant à une révolution radicale, qui aboutirait à la mise en place définitive d’un ordre social supposé plus juste, et sans commune mesure avec ce qui a existé jusqu’à présent. Dans cette acception, le terme a pu servir à qualifier aussi bien le communisme que le nazisme. Wikipedia
It is a series of images that come out of the Book of Revelation. There is a Millenarian idea, of an impending calamity, that something unspeakable is about to occur. (…) At the end of the First World War, these currents in poetry, from the romantic to the symbolist poets at the end of the century and the beginning of the new century, finally convert themselves into a series of political movements, which are mass movements against the idea of liberalism. They are movements of rebellion against the belief in the many instead of the one, against the idea that life should be divided into a series of spheres — the public and the private, the state and society, the civil and the religious — and at some level, in different ways, they are movements of rebellion against the idea of rational analysis. Instead, they are movements in favor of the one, the solid, the granite, of authority, as opposed to rational analysis — sometimes of mysticism, but in any case of authority. These movements were founded by Lenin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, the leaders of the Iron Guard in Romania, various figures from the extreme right in France, and through every single country in Europe in some version or another — the Bolshevik movement on the Left, all of the other movements on the Right. The movements were utterly different one from the other, and the Left and the Right hated each other, and sometimes the Right and the Right hated each other. But (…)  In all of these cases, the similarities consisted of a belief in a deep myth, the Ur myth of the twentieth century and into our own time. The name of this myth is the Book of Revelation. It is a variation on the themes of the symbolist poets. It takes the idea of transgressive rebellion, which the earlier Romantics had already come up with, of murder and rebellion as satanic acts of rebellion against liberal society, the conversion of this idea into the mythology that you see in the Book of Revelation, and then finally these political movements convert that same notion into political doctrines in this way. The story in the Book of Revelation says: There is a people of God; the people of God are being afflicted and polluted by forces from within their own society, who worship at the synagogue of Satan. At the same time, the people of God are being afflicted by cosmic foes from abroad. The people of God who are oppressed rise up in rebellion against these polluting forces from within and against the cosmic forces from abroad. The name of this war is Armageddon, and it lasts, according to St. John, the author of Revelation, one hour. And at the end of the war, with all of those foes dispatched, the reign of Christ is established and lasts a thousand years. It is a perfect, stable society with no polluting elements. It is the millennium. (…) But the totalitarian ideal also arose in two other versions, which were distinctly not European. The radical Islamist movement — that is, the notion of Islam as a revolutionary political movement, not just as a religion — was founded in 1928 with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Pan-Arabist movement in its most radical version, the Baath, was founded formally in 1943 in Damascus. (…)  There is a people of God. The people of God should be described as the “true Muslims” in the case of the Islamists, or as the “true Arabs” in the case of the Baath. The people of God are afflicted by internal corruptors within Muslim society. These internal corruptors are the Jews or the Masons or the Muslim hypocrites. The people of God are afflicted by sinister external foes, Western imperialists or the worldwide Zionist conspiracy. The people of God will resist these internal foes and external foes in a gigantic war of Armageddon. This war will be the liberation of Jerusalem or it will be the jihad. Afterwards the reign of purity will be established and this reign of purity is described in the case of both of those movements in the same way: it is the re-resurrection of the Caliphate of the seventh century in the years after the Prophet Mohammed. The Caliphate is described by each of these movements in a slightly different way. For the Islamists, it means the reinstating of Shar’iah or Qur’anic law. For the Baathists the emphasis is secular; it is the recreating, the resurrecting, of the Arab empire when the Arab empire was on the march. Finally, these two movements have lacked for nothing in the realm of practical achievement – killing millions. In the last twenty years, several million people have been killed in the course of the Iran-Iraq war, which pitted one of these movements against the other — the mass human wave suicide attacks on the part of the Iranian Islamists against the cult of cruelty, and of chemical weapons on the part of the Baathists. It is estimated that between one and a half million and two million people were killed in Sudan; 100,000 are thought killed in Algeria over the last several years. (…) The success of Muslim totalitarianism has depended on liberal naïveté — in fact, blindness. The eyes of the world have not been on these millions who have been killed in the last twenty years. Always the liberals all over the world have wanted to describe these movements as in some way rational and conventional, as movements based on grievances — “The movements are anti-Zionist, and isn’t it the case that Israel has often been at fault?” “The movements are anti-American, and isn’t it the case that the United States has often been at fault?” And these grievances do exist, but the effort to take them seriously tends often to distort their madness in such a way as to make it unrecognizable, for totalitarian doctrines are always mad. The Nazis thought they were engaged in a biological struggle. The Stalinists thought they were the proletariat and their enemies were the bourgeois exploiters. The Baathists and Islamists see a cosmic Zionist-Crusader conspiracy. It is important to keep a sense of the madness in these ideas, even if it is true that in the years after World War I some Germans were oppressed outside of the borders of Germany, and Israel and the U.S. have done bad things. All of the totalitarian movements were at bottom ideological movements, not based on a normal sense of grievances of political claims or expression of real-life interests, but movements based on ideological visions. Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis. The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas. The basic danger we are facing now is not weapons of mass destruction, per se, because we know very well that box cutters can be lethal weapons of the worst sort. The danger that we face is not inherently military; it’s not armies in the conventional sense. It is above all ideological. As long as millions of people are committed fanatically to doctrines that are ultimately mad and that follow in the tradition of the totalitarian madnesses of Europe in the twentieth century, the danger persists. I maintain that the struggle we are involved in is, or ought to be, ultimately a war of ideas. Paul Berman

Attention: une lutte finale peut en cacher une autre !

A l’heure où, entre deux parties de golf ou condamnations d’Israël, les autruches qui nous gouvernent semblent enfin prendre conscience de la menace djihadiste pour la planète entière …

Comment ne pas repenser, avec Paul Berman, au mythe qui, du communisme au nazisme et aujourd’hui à l‘islamisme, soutend l’ensemble de ces mouvements totalitaristes …

A savoir le mythe millénariste du livre de l’Apocalypse de Saint Jean ?

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, Joanne J. Myers
Carnegie Council
April 15, 2003

Introduction

JOANNE MYERS: On behalf of the Carnegie Council I would like to welcome members and guests to our Author in the Afternoon program.

Today we are delighted to have Paul Berman, a writer who has been especially recognized for his penetrating philosophical perspectives on a vast array of social and cultural topics. His latest work, Terror and Liberalism, focuses on a subject that is generating a great deal of interest, as it is the first book to address the political/philosophical dimensions of the current conflict found in Islamic fundamentalism and on the War on Terror.

I have asked Jack Diggins to introduce Mr. Berman. Jack is a Distinguished Professor of American History at the City University of New York. He has also taught at Princeton, Cambridge, and the University of London. Jack has published a number of books dealing with American politics and history, including Up From Communism: The Liberal Persuasion; Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and the Challenge of the American Past; The Promise of Pragmatism; The Rise and Fall of the American Left, and The Proud Decades, America in War and Peace, 1941-1960. Just by listening to these titles you can easily conclude that Jack has concerned himself with, among other things, American intellectual history, liberalism, pragmatism, and the American past and its influence on the present, which makes him the ideal person to introduce our guest today.

JACK DIGGINS: Thank you. I am very pleased to be here and to introduce my old friend, Paul Berman.

I came to know Paul many years ago when I was living on the West Coast and there was an essay in the Village Voice on the philosopher Sidney Hook. I thought I was the only person in the United States who admired Sidney Hook, but there was one other, Paul Berman. Hook was a leading philosopher of pragmatism and Marxism and became an ardent anti-communist, which in the 1960s was not politically correct, at least on the campuses.

And then, watching television, the Iraq war, the aftermath of the war, and seeing the scenes of fists in the air and anti-American statements and rumors of Baath police being lynched and the scenes of looting, I said to myself, “This is not going to bother Paul.”

Many years ago Paul was with me in California and said, “I’m going to take a trip to Tijuana.” At that time, if you went to Tijuana and parked your car for ten minutes, the tires were gone. But Paul came back just smiling and praising it as a land of moral solidarity and all the people with hearts of gold. I couldn’t help remember the last time I was there I was taken to the police station because I refused to pay a cop a $50 bribe for crossing the street the wrong way. But Paul is so much more optimistic than I am, and maybe he is right.

With the fall of Communism, he and I would debate every day, and I would side with Gorbachev and he would side with Yeltsin or anyone who let the whole system come down. Paul describes himself as a democratic socialist, but deep down he has an anarchist impulse and he does think that out of chaos will come freedom. I am a little bit more cautious.

But the fall of Communism was, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, the greatest peaceful transfer of power in modern history, and Paul was right about it, and perhaps he will be right about his position on the Iraq war.

Some people will be curious why I dedicated a book that is about the great prudent conservative President-statesman John Adams to a radical activist from the 1960s. People wonder if there is an incongruence there. But I would like to read you the last sentence of my acknowledgement: “In the 1790s John Adams reflected on events in France, in the 1980s Paul Berman on events in Nicaragua. Both faced the wrath of some of their own friends for telling us that a revolution without representation is destined to devour itself. Truth dared to speak before its time.”

Remarks

PAUL BERMAN: I’d like to thank the Carnegie Council for inviting me to speak and my dear friend, the slyly brilliant Professor Diggins, for this introduction.

I would like to offer ten propositions with which our present crisis could be observed.

1) In the nineteenth century, the belief arose that the secret of human progress had been discovered and had been proved to be correct. This secret was thought to be a belief in the many instead of the one, a belief that each aspect of life should be allowed to remain in its own sphere — the public and the private, the state and society, the religious and the civil. There was a belief that society ought to govern itself through rational analysis.

Many different philosophies and political movements expressed this idea. None of them, none of the large ones, expressed it fully consistently. Marx had some aspects of this idea. The French Revolution stood for some aspects and could not quite get the other aspects right. Thomas Jefferson stood for a very pure version of this idea and yet couldn’t quite straighten out the part regarding human slavery. Each separate movement in the nineteenth century, or in the early eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, had some aspect of it and some contradiction which was yet to be worked out.

And yet, in spite of the contradictions, there was consensus about general principles which were seen to be working in some of the societies that we think of as the West and which were regarded by some people in all regions around the world as the secret of human progress universally, not just in the places where they were seen to be prospering at that moment.

There was among a very large number of people, a general feeling of underlying optimism, which you can see in many of the writers of the nineteenth century, in many of the doctrines that came to dominate political movements.

2) At the same time, there was reason to be suspicious of these doctrines. There was a whole series of criticisms about hypocrisies or inconsistencies or lies that were concealed within it. Marx was the great prophet of this.

But beyond these doctrines of suspicion, there were also some elements that not even Marx discussed, something that went beyond exploitation and hypocrisy. This could be seen by the late-nineteenth century in King Leopold’s war in the Congo or in German Southwest Africa at the turn of the century, where the very countries, Germany and Belgium, who were among the principal exemplars of the doctrine of human progress, were in some other aspect of their national activity somehow engaged in the most grotesque genocide. The combination of the sense of optimism and the genocidal atrocities, seemed to be beyond the capability of the liberal imagination to conceive.

In the First World War, these darkest aspects, which had already been visible in the Congo and in Southwest Africa, finally rolled back across Europe. What had been unimaginable throughout the nineteenth century finally took place in Europe itself, which was mass death on the most colossal scale, nine or ten million people killed for reasons that were ultimately unintelligible. Each country went into the war with a logical set of reasons instead of treaties and alliances. The final outcome was a catastrophe beyond that which anyone would have or did predict.

3) From the nineteenth century and onward, a series of rebellions against this prevailing liberal optimism arose. Some of these rebellions are particularly worth observing.

First, there was a rebellion within the romantic literary tradition, in romantic poetry. An important sign of this was Victor Hugo’s verse play Hernani in 1830, which already broached certain themes. The play ends with the attempted assassination of the King of Spain and a triple suicide. The theme of murder and suicide in the context of rebellion had already been broached.

Baudelaire picks up the same theme. In the second edition of The Flowers of Evil, the inscription mentions enrolling in the rhetorical school of Satan.

And, in fact, there is a religious subtext that underlies this notion of rebellion, which is the romantic cult of Satan, which, within the literary tradition, begins to mean a cult of murder and suicide as literary postures.

Later in the nineteenth century among the poets, the religious aspect of this rebellion, of this notion of transgressive rebellion against the existing order, takes a new form. You can see it in Rimbaud and in a marvelous version in the greatest of the turn-of-the-century Spanish-language poets, Ruben Dario.

This new version is not the cult of Satan. It is a series of images that come out of the Book of Revelation. There is a Millenarian idea, of an impending calamity, that something unspeakable is about to occur. You can see it in Yeats. This idea emerges as the new religious underpinning.

There is something self-ironic about the writers who were writing about Satan but there is nothing ironic or self-ironic about the writers who were drawing on images from the Book of Revelation.

At the end of the First World War, these currents in poetry, from the romantic to the symbolist poets at the end of the century and the beginning of the new century, finally convert themselves into a series of political movements, which are mass movements against the idea of liberalism. They are movements of rebellion against the belief in the many instead of the one, against the idea that life should be divided into a series of spheres — the public and the private, the state and society, the civil and the religious — and at some level, in different ways, they are movements of rebellion against the idea of rational analysis. Instead, they are movements in favor of the one, the solid, the granite, of authority, as opposed to rational analysis — sometimes of mysticism, but in any case of authority.

These movements were founded by Lenin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, the leaders of the Iron Guard in Romania, various figures from the extreme right in France, and through every single country in Europe in some version or another — the Bolshevik movement on the Left, all of the other movements on the Right.

The movements were utterly different one from the other, and the Left and the Right hated each other, and sometimes the Right and the Right hated each other. But what I am struck by is the similarities.

4) In all of these cases, the similarities consisted of a belief in a deep myth, the Ur myth of the twentieth century and into our own time. The name of this myth is the Book of Revelation.

It is a variation on the themes of the symbolist poets. It takes the idea of transgressive rebellion, which the earlier Romantics had already come up with, of murder and rebellion as satanic acts of rebellion against liberal society, the conversion of this idea into the mythology that you see in the Book of Revelation, and then finally these political movements convert that same notion into political doctrines in this way.

The story in the Book of Revelation says: There is a people of God; the people of God are being afflicted and polluted by forces from within their own society, who worship at the synagogue of Satan. At the same time, the people of God are being afflicted by cosmic foes from abroad.

The people of God who are oppressed rise up in rebellion against these polluting forces from within and against the cosmic forces from abroad. The name of this war is Armageddon, and it lasts, according to St. John, the author of Revelation, one hour.

And at the end of the war, with all of those foes dispatched, the reign of Christ is established and lasts a thousand years. It is a perfect, stable society with no polluting elements. It is the millennium.

Each of the movements that arose in the period after World War I found a new way to tell this story. There was always a people of God. The people of God were proletariat. The people of God were the children of the Roman wolf, the Italian people. The people of God were the Catholic warriors of Christ, according to the King in Spain. The people of God were the Aryan race.

There were always polluting elements from within society, such as the bourgeoisie, or the Trotskyite wreckers, or the Jews, or the Masons, or the Communists.

There were always external foes from abroad. These were the forces of capitalist encirclement, or Anglo-American imperialism, or what Heidegger described as the “pincer pressure” of the United States and the Soviet Union pressing on the people of Germany.

There was always going to be a war, which would be a war of extermination against these external and internal foes. This war would be the class war, or the crusade in Franco’s version, or the biological war in the Nazi version.

At the end was always the perfect society, which was pictured either as a sci-fi leap into the future or as a return to the golden age of the past, usually as some version of both.

The Communist version was a leap into the future, though if you read your Marx carefully, you understand that this is also a leap into the primitive Communism of the past. And in the Soviet version there are many references to the primitive Communist traditions of the Russian peasants.

All of the right-wing versions were variations of a slightly different sort.

Mussolini was going to recreate the Roman Empire, and when he marched on Rome in 1922, he organized his followers into legions. They were centurions marching on Rome. The Roman Empire was going to be recreated in a modern version. They weren’t going to go back to the ancient version. It was would be a modern version of the Roman Empire.

Franco was going to recreate the medieval Crusades of Spain at its greatest. He would do this in a modern version.

Hitler was also going to recreate the Roman Empire. The Third Reich meant the new Reich after the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. He would recreate the Roman Empire, but in an Aryan version instead of an Italian version.

And likewise, this cult of the ancient, the reestablishing of the ancient, was a leap into the future at the same time, a modernism.

The symbolist cult of the Book of Revelation is also a cult of ancient myth, which is a cult of modernism at the same time. If you want to see that artistically, picture some of Picasso, where he is evoking the ancient myths of the Mediterranean but in the most modern of ways.

5) All of these movements proposed impractical programs which were unachievable except in one way, which was through mass death. Mass death showed that these were movements of transgressive rebellion, not movements of reform, not conservative movements of reform or social democratic movements of reform, Left or Right, but movements that would break through the ordinary morality of behavior, thus would break through the existing world view.

The reassuring demonstration that one had really gone beyond the ordinary was a commitment to mass death. All of these movements failed completely in achieving what they stated to be their worldly aims, and in achieving mass death.

6) The liberal society which in its weaknesses and contradictions and inability to conceive of the dark in human nature, the liberal society which in some way had inspired these movements and against which these movements now arose in rebellion, also had a great deal of trouble in identifying what these movements were.

We are all too familiar with the failures of the left-wing Fellow Travelers, who could not understand Stalinism and could only understand it as an exceptionally advanced form of social democracy. But you can take examples of this kind of error across the spectrum.

I write about the French socialists of the 1930s, who were a deeply democratic and liberal, in my sense of the word, movement with an impeccable record of liberal democratic credentials going back into the nineteenth century, without any of the aspects of Bolshevism, Marxism, or Leninism. One has to remember that in the 1930s, the French socialists were the enemies of Nazism and of the Right.

And yet, the majority of the French socialists finally voted for Marshall Pétain because they could not get themselves to understand the nature of Nazism. They managed to tell themselves that Nazism was a legitimate movement, that the Germans did have grievances, that the Treaty of Versailles had been unjust, that Hitler might be raving but he was stating truths.

The French socialists in their majority faction certainly did not regard themselves as anti-Semites, and yet they asked themselves: “Every time somebody rails against the Jews, is it always an example of anti-Semitism?” The French socialists were, by definition, the enemy of financiers — “and weren’t some of the financiers Jewish?”

The French socialists finally thought that the great danger to France was represented not by Hitler and the Nazis but by the hawks in their own society. And who was the leading hawk? Unfortunately, it was their own leader, the leader of the minority faction, who had managed to get himself elected Prime Minister, Léon Blum, whose ethnic identity now became itself a source of much speculation.

With this kind of reasoning, the French socialists in the majority faction not only managed to vote for Pétain, but quite a few ended up joining his government, and in this way the impeccable liberal democrats of the French Left managed to convert themselves into fascists.

7) The progress of totalitarianism depends on and is inseparable from this kind of liberal naïveté. Without the cooperation of the Fellow Travelers with Stalin, without the French anti-war socialists in the case of Hitler, without the naïveté of any number of conservatives and democratic right-wingers in the case of a variety of fascists and Nazis, without the naïveté even of the United States with regard to Hitler straight through the 1930s, it would be inconceivable to imagine that these movements would have gotten very far.

So it is a mistake to think of the totalitarian movements as isolated. They existed in a dynamic, and part of the dynamic is the liberal naïve unwillingness to recognize them as what they are.

8) Totalitarianism arose in Europe in the fifteen years after the First World War. In the first twenty-five years, similar or identical movements arose on the other side of the Mediterranean too, in the Muslim world.

One of these movements was certainly Muslim Communism, which everyone forgets about. In the interpretation of the clash of civilizations, one would imagine that a Western movement like Communism would be inconceivable in what is called a non-Western society. In fact, Communism was a large and lasting movement.

But the totalitarian ideal also arose in two other versions, which were distinctly not European. The radical Islamist movement — that is, the notion of Islam as a revolutionary political movement, not just as a religion — was founded in 1928 with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Pan-Arabist movement in its most radical version, the Baath, was founded formally in 1943 in Damascus.

These movements are conventionally seen as opposites. If you turn on the TV, you will see any number of people automatically saying that these movements have nothing in common; one is religious, the other is secular; they despise each other. And it is true that they have despised each other and have committed mutual massacres on a gigantic scale.

It is useful to point out the ways in which these two movements resemble each other. The totalitarian movements in Europe also were different one from the other, and sometimes were at war with one another, and yet there were underlying similarities.

In the case of Baathism and Islamism, these similarities are easy to see. There is a people of God. The people of God should be described as the “true Muslims” in the case of the Islamists, or as the “true Arabs” in the case of the Baath. The people of God are afflicted by internal corruptors within Muslim society. These internal corruptors are the Jews or the Masons or the Muslim hypocrites.

The people of God are afflicted by sinister external foes, Western imperialists or the worldwide Zionist conspiracy. The people of God will resist these internal foes and external foes in a gigantic war of Armageddon. This war will be the liberation of Jerusalem or it will be the jihad.

Afterwards the reign of purity will be established and this reign of purity is described in the case of both of those movements in the same way: it is the re-resurrection of the Caliphate of the seventh century in the years after the Prophet Mohammed. The Caliphate is described by each of these movements in a slightly different way. For the Islamists, it means the reinstating of Shar’iah or Qur’anic law. For the Baathists the emphasis is secular; it is the recreating, the resurrecting, of the Arab empire when the Arab empire was on the march.

Finally, these two movements have lacked for nothing in the realm of practical achievement – killing millions. In the last twenty years, several million people have been killed in the course of the Iran-Iraq war, which pitted one of these movements against the other — the mass human wave suicide attacks on the part of the Iranian Islamists against the cult of cruelty, and of chemical weapons on the part of the Baathists. It is estimated that between one and a half million and two million people were killed in Sudan; 100,000 are thought killed in Algeria over the last several years.

It is conventionally said that in these movements today we face nothing like Hitler or Stalin, but statistically this is not true.

9) The success of Muslim totalitarianism has depended on liberal naïveté — in fact, blindness. The eyes of the world have not been on these millions who have been killed in the last twenty years.

Always the liberals all over the world have wanted to describe these movements as in some way rational and conventional, as movements based on grievances — “The movements are anti-Zionist, and isn’t it the case that Israel has often been at fault?” “The movements are anti-American, and isn’t it the case that the United States has often been at fault?”

And these grievances do exist, but the effort to take them seriously tends often to distort their madness in such a way as to make it unrecognizable, for totalitarian doctrines are always mad. The Nazis thought they were engaged in a biological struggle. The Stalinists thought they were the proletariat and their enemies were the bourgeois exploiters. The Baathists and Islamists see a cosmic Zionist-Crusader conspiracy.

It is important to keep a sense of the madness in these ideas, even if it is true that in the years after World War I some Germans were oppressed outside of the borders of Germany, and Israel and the U.S. have done bad things.

10) All of the totalitarian movements were at bottom ideological movements, not based on a normal sense of grievances of political claims or expression of real-life interests, but movements based on ideological visions.

Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis.

The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas.

The basic danger we are facing now is not weapons of mass destruction, per se, because we know very well that box cutters can be lethal weapons of the worst sort. The danger that we face is not inherently military; it’s not armies in the conventional sense. It is above all ideological. As long as millions of people are committed fanatically to doctrines that are ultimately mad and that follow in the tradition of the totalitarian madnesses of Europe in the twentieth century, the danger persists.

I maintain that the struggle we are involved in is, or ought to be, ultimately a war of ideas.

Thank you.

JOANNE MYERS: I would like to open the floor to questions.

Questions and Answers

QUESTION: A fascinating rendition of history. The problem underlying all of these movements that have done so much damage in the world is that they are the result of liberalism. Liberalism, therefore, because of its very nature of considering a wide spectrum of good and evil, as opposed to taking a position on one side, is very negative and probably should be considered unacceptable in the war of ideas. Liberals have fomented some of the major problems in the history of the world.

I’d like your comments.

PAUL BERMAN: I agree with you up until your final conclusion. Liberalism in the broadest sense, the notion of a liberal society, does in fact generate these movements.

I am not the first to make that observation. In The Open Society and its Enemies, Karl Popper explains at length, in a book written or completed in 1943, a very evocative date, that the notion of freedom itself, which he traces back to Greece, inspires a rebellion of fear against it.

There is a relation between liberal society and its enemies, and that liberalism does inspire these movements of rebellion, and has inherently a difficulty in coping with them. If that is what you are suggesting, I agree completely.

We must recognize, first, that liberalism itself does bear some responsibility for the rise of these movements, and then bears a responsibility for failing to recognize them and to engage with them.

At a time of war people want to wave a flag and say, “these are the totally good guys and those are the totally bad guys.” I am with you on saying “those are the totally bad guys.” But about saying “these are the totally good guys” I have a moment of reservation.

QUESTION: Have you been in touch with fellow intellectuals in Europe? How do they respond to your thesis, they who have suffered from Nazism and Franco and Communism, and yet seem so naïve when it comes to understanding what the United States is trying to do to combat the dangerous ideologies in the Islamic world?

How can we find again a common basis with the Europeans and others, and with Muslims all over the world, to transform this Armageddon-directed Islamism, militant Islamism, into a more open society?

PAUL BERMAN: I’m sorry to say that in the current issue of the New York Review of Books I’ve been hanged by Ian Buruma, who takes the occasion to observe that he is Dutch-born and expresses a lot of resentment at some implicit analyses of contemporary Europe that he finds in my book. So there are some tensions.

I was at a conference in Paris last summer where the tensions between some of the American and European intellectuals were in fact quite great.

At the same time, my book occupies a strange place in this debate because it has already been criticized for being anti-European and having a naïve American nationalism implicit in it.

The ideas that I have just expounded, come, insofar as they aren’t my own, from Popper in some degree, from Albert Camus, and especially André Glucksmann, the French philosopher, who in his hugely unappreciated book of 1991, Le Onzième Commandement, which is his answer to Francis Fukuyama, lays out some aspects of this notion of the Book of Revelation as an Ur myth underlying modern totalitarianism.

I just had this same discussion with a reporter from Le Monde, who called to ask me if I wasn’t anti-European, based on what she had read about my book in the New York Review. I said, “I don’t think so because all my ideas are actually French, except that I have given them a different twist.”

The great chasm that has opened up between the United States and Western Europe, at least, is much more conjunctural, much more a matter of chance events, than it is anything deeper or structural. I disagree with Robert Kagan on this point. Much of it is the fault of George Bush and could have been avoided.

In France, before the Iraq war, a poll showed that 33 percent of the French supported the war. Of those 33 percent, most were on the Right, some were on the Left. But apart from the 33 percent, the polls showed consistently that the single most admired politician in France is Bernard Kouchner, who was a socialist, Mitterand’s Minister of Health, NATO Administrator in Kosovo, and long ago had been the founder of Doctors Without Borders. Kushner supported the war.

So if you figure that the most popular politician in France, who is a socialist, supported the war, 33 percent of the population supported the war, most of whom were on the Right, meaning that you could have got much support on the Left, all you had to do was convince 9 percent of the French to change their opinion and you would have had a majority of France in favor of the war. The popular support for the war in France is much above that in Spain, where Aznar did support the war.

If Bush had presented the arguments for the war along the lines that a Bernard Kouchner would have proposed, if he had argued for the war as a further extension of what NATO had done in the Balkans finally in the Kosovo war, he would have been able to carry that extra 9 percent in France, and if Chirac saw that even a small majority was leaning in favor of the war, he would have found a way to interpret the international situation rather differently.

World War II was an age of giants, of Roosevelt and Churchill. Today we have Churchill but we don’t have Roosevelt and we don’t have de Gaulle. I attribute the breach between the United States and Europe above all to these errors of Bush.

QUESTION: Would you give us your views on the modalities by which an ideological struggle can be conducted? It is difficult for outsiders to argue with or conduct an ideological debate with the Muslim world. An ideological debate must occur within a community.

PAUL BERMAN: First, it’s a mistake to regard Muslims as outsiders to the West. In many respects the intellectual capital of the Arab world is Paris and London, where you have the freest press and the most open debate. The leading philosopher of the most moderate, fairly reasonable wing of modern Islamism is a Swiss professor who is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Second, the founders of the Muslim totalitarian movements, the most important theoreticians, like Sayyid Qutb in the case of radical Islamism, or Michel Aflaq in the case of Baathism, are Western-educated intellectuals.

A quarter of my book is devoted to the writings of Sayyid Qutb, born in 1906, hanged by Nassar in 1966. During his many years in prison he wrote a gigantic commentary of the Qur’an. It looks strictly Islamic and Qur’anic, but if you sit back and look at the ideas, it’s not hard to recognize a bit of Heidegger, of existentialism, all of the familiar doctrines of modern European philosophy.

And this guy knew what he was doing. He did not come up with totally modern ideas strictly out of the seventh-century Qur’an. He did succeed in finding a Qur’anic language to express these ideas, but this writer does not live on a different planet or come from a different universe than the intellectuals of New York or Paris or London.

If my analysis is correct, I don’t mean to deny a distinctly regional and denominational aspect of Muslim totalitarianism. I am happy to acknowledge the differences between Egypt and Italy, or for that matter Egypt and its immediate neighbors. But if the fundamentals of my analysis are correct, then all of these movements reflect the intellectual currents of the twentieth century coming out of the nineteenth century, and it is a great mistake on our part to think that the intellectuals behind these movements are coming from a different universe.

So we can argue with these people directly. And we shouldn’t assume that they are not reading us or would not be willing to read us. I came on the works of Qutb prowling the Islamic bookstores of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. There is every reason to think that the other people prowling those bookstores, who might have a different ethnic origin than my own, are nonetheless reading some of the same books that I am reading, and that the gap between us and them is not so great.

QUESTION: You describe the totalitarian forces as the people of God in their minds. Do you not think that this concept is slightly different in this context, because one could say that about an aspect of what is going on in this country? After all, there is a rather large segment of people in this country who have affected policy who call themselves the Christian Right. They believe in Armageddon, Revelation.

There is this aspect in what you would characterize as the liberalism force as also the people of God. Our President has said that God is on our side. This is slightly different from the analysis that you presented of all the other contexts.

PAUL BERMAN: An excellent question. I have two responses.

First, it is not true that everyone who calls himself a fundamentalist is the same. The mainstream of American Christian fundamentalism has, even if they allow themselves flights of fancy, political goals, such as prayer in schools, the end of the right to abortion, etc.

Maybe if they were given free rein, they would lose control of themselves and the goals would multiply. I don’t rule that out.

The mainstream of these people are not dreaming of abolishing the U.S. Constitution and replacing it with a theocracy. It’s a limited movement.

However, there are groups like the David Koresh cult and certain kinds of cults that arise on the fringe of the American Christian fundamentalist movement that have this idea. If you could picture one of those cults becoming a mass movement led by David Koresh, then you would have something much more like radical Islamism, or the Taliban.

One of Bush’s worst failures is that he is so locked into a conventional American understanding of Christianity and its role in American politics that he has no idea whatsoever how this plays in the rest of the world. He hasn’t the faintest idea that to European ears when he evokes God he sounds like a fascist. He knows he is not a fascist, and most Americans know that he is not a fascist, that he doesn’t want to overthrow the Constitution.

But the language he is using is not so different from a language that you can trace among American politicians way back into the nineteenth century and is well understood both on the Right and the Left.

So when we hear Bush invoking his Christian faith and saying “God bless America,” we shrug. But to many people around the world, in Europe especially, this is language that only a follower of Franco would use.

Bush has no idea how badly he has weakened the United States internationally by using this language and how badly he has weakened the struggle ideologically. After all, the most important thing that we want to do is persuade millions of people in the Muslim world that Islam is excellent but what they want to establish is a secular society which is not theocratic, which has the qualities of a liberal society, and that there is a fine and esteemed place for religion within it. Bush sounds like a Christian Crusader, exactly the worst fantasy of the Islamists and Baathists who are against the United States.

QUESTION: Paul, I would like to make a defense of liberalism. You’re conflating the failure of nerve of liberals in the 1930s to stand up against Hitler, and then later to see the treacheries of Stalin. But just because these movements identify themselves as opposition to liberalism is no discredit to liberalism.

How do you expect this next phase of our confrontation with the Islamic world to be a struggle of ideas? When has liberalism been able to persuade others to give up their ways? The liberal society of the North couldn’t even persuade the South to give up its ways. And in every encounter that liberalism has had in the twentieth century, it was a winning philosophy. Liberalism prevailed over fascism, over Communism, and what the Islamic world now faces is that they are isolated and in a state of desperation, backwardness and poverty.

Oscar Wilde said, “How do you reason someone out of what they have not reasoned into?”

PAUL BERMAN: They have not reasoned their way into it. When you read some of the theoreticians of these movements, you see that they are quite intelligent, and that people reasoned their way into fascism, Nazism, and Communism, and then they reasoned their way out of those movements.

In the case of Communism, the liberal world engaged in an excellent war of ideas, which, in Europe at least, meant that Communism collapsed, outside of Romania, in an entirely peaceful way, which is the ideal solution to the problem. And it was done largely through a war of ideas, that liberals of the Left and Right upheld their ideas. Liberal movements eventually began to spring up within the Communist societies, and some of the Communists themselves began to question their ideas in the face of these criticisms.

Communism has always contained something of a contradictory element, going back to Marx, who was partly wrong but partly right. The intellectual aspect of the Cold War in Europe was huge.

In the case of the Islamists and Baathists, again they are not so remote from us. Ultimately, they have to be reasoned with.

The whole history of totalitarian movements up to now has been one in which liberalism has finally triumphed, and so there is reason to feel some deep confidence about this. One actually has to go out and engage in this fight, which is largely intellectual.

There are two obstacles that exist, that make it difficult for us to engage in this fight.

One is a liberal naïveté, which has always been the case in regard to totalitarian movements, where one doesn’t want to believe that these movements are as bad as they are and one finds reasons for saying that they are reasonable and, therefore, not to take them seriously.

The other obstacle is the belief in the clash of civilizations, which attributes to the Muslim world an exoticism, that might lead us to suppose that we can’t argue with them because they come from another planet.

We must avoid the naïveté of failing to recognize what some of these movements represent and the dangers they pose and the crimes that they have already committed, and we must avoid the belief that there is no way we can speak to these people because they come from such a faraway place.

JOANNE MYERS: Thank you very much.

Voir aussi:

ISIL could pose threat to US, Europe, officials say

The group is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist outfit in the world
Michael Isikoff
Yahoo News
August 15, 2014

U.S. air strikes not « breaking the threat » of ISIL: Pentagon

U.S. counterterrorism officials have dramatically ramped up their warnings about the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), concluding that the well-armed group is expanding its ambitions outside the Middle East and may be planning terror attacks against western Europe — and even the U.S. homeland.
ISIL’s conquest of vast swaths of Iraqi territory this spring and summer netted it a “significant” arsenal of U.S. weapons from two Iraqi military bases, including hundreds of tanks, heavily armored Humvees, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, officials say. One U.S official tells Yahoo News ISIL is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist group in the world.

Led by its charismatic chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the radical Islamist group is looking beyond its short-term goal of overthrowing the Iraqi and Syrian governments and replacing them with a self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate. “We’re seeing an expansion of its external terrorist ambitions,” one U.S. counterterrorism official said in a briefing for reporters Thursday. “As its capabilities grow, it has attracted thousands of foreign extremists — some of whom are going home to start cells. As it carves out territory [in Iraq], it wants to go beyond that and do attacks outside. ” U.S. counterterrorism agencies had put the number of ISIL fighters at about 10,000, but that figure is now being reassessed and is likely to be raised, officials say.

Just four years ago the group, then calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq, was scattered and on the run from American forces, aided by Sunni tribes horrified by the group’s often grotesque violence. Its reign has been marked by summary executions, ritual stonings, beheadings and even crucifixions.

What fueled its resurgence? Officials say the group fed off Sunni resentment over the Shia-dominated government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who announced his resignation Thursday night. It took advantage of the power vacuum in northern Iraq to seize large chunks of essentially ungoverned territory. It saw an opportunity in recruiting prisoners; in July 2013, its suicide bombers blew their way into the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, freeing up to 500 inmates, including al-Qaida leaders.

These demonstrable successes gave the group new credibility among jihadis around the world, especially after it joined the civil war in Syria and changed its name to ISIL. (It has at times also been known as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.) It has since changed its name again to the Islamic State after proclaiming itself a caliphate, the latest in a succession of Muslim empires dating back to the seventh century. Its ranks were soon swelled by foreigners, including hundreds of followers of the red-bearded Chechen militant Omar al-Shishani, a former Georgian army sergeant known for his deep hatred of America.

Concerns about terrorism spilling over from Syria and Iraq hit home in June when French police arrested an « armed jihadi » who had just returned from Syria in connection with the May 24 killing of four people — including two Israeli tourists — at a Jewish Center in Brussels.

Since then, authorities in Europe have broken up terror cells linked to ISIL, including one in Kosovo where officials this week arrested 40 suspects who had returned from Iraq and Syria—including some who had fought with ISIL — and seized weapons and explosives in dozens of locations.

ISIL and its followers have also proven adept at using social media, making a steady barrage of threats against the West, including the United States.

“Probably most striking are the threats on Twitter,” said a U.S. official who monitors the postings. “We’ve seen tens of thousands of postings by ten of thousands of people supporting ISIL, making threats to blow up U.S. Embassies. » One posting showed an ISIL banner apparently superimposed on an image of the White House.

It is still unclear how real those threats are, at least while ISIL is focused on its war with the Iraqi government. And the resignation of the deeply unpopular Maliki could allow for more U.S.-Iraqi cooperation in the fight against the insurgents.

But increasingly, officials say, ISIL has the perception of momentum. For the first time there are signs that some jihadis linked to al-Qaidaare expressing sympathy, if not allegiance, to ISIL — despite al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s disavowal of the group.

One thing ISIL does not lack is funds. The group has seized banks, accumulating vast amounts of cash and raking in more by selling oil and other commodities to smugglers. ISIL “is flush with cash. It has plenty of money. They control oil fields, they have refiners. They have hundreds of millions of dollars,” said one U.S. analyst at the Thursday briefing.

And it is exceptionally well armed. When ISIL forces assaulted two Iraqi military bases, Camp Speicher and Rasheed Air Base, in July, they got the keys to the kingdom — hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of American tanks, armored personal carriers, howitzers and other equipment. ISIL fighters have posed for videos brandishing MANPADS, shoulder-launched surface to air missiles that can shoot down low-flying aircraft.

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is …
“They’ve got enough supplies, equipment and ammunition to last them five years,” said John Maguire, a former top CIA officer in Iraq who retains close ties to the Kurdish regional government. Thanks in part to assistance from former Iraqi military officers who have defected to ISIL, “they know how to operate American equipment.”

What they also have, at least for the moment, is a de facto safe haven. Al-Baghdadi — who officials say sees himself as the true successor to Osama bin Laden — is believed to be constantly on the move. But ISIL appears to have established a headquarters in Raqqa in northern Syria, where the group’s black banners reportedly fly over administrative buildings.

Given that President Obama has placed sharp limits on U.S. airstrikes and confined them to Iraq, that effectively makes Baghdadi and his top deputies — almost all of whom were once in U.S. custody — off-limits to U.S. military action. The Raqqa safe haven “is a problem,” acknowledged one U.S. official.

The bottom line, U.S. counterterrorism officials say, is that new strategies are urgently needed to counter the surging ISIL threat. In the briefing for reporters Thursday, one senior official made the point in the most understated way possible: “We don’t assess at the moment this [the threat from ISIL] is something that will collapse on its own.”

Voir également:

TEA LEAF NATION
China Sees Islamic State Inching Closer to Home
Chinese media lights up after a Hong Kong weekly says IS aims to expand into Xinjiang.
Alexa Olesen
Foreign Policy
August 11, 2014

They’ve been grabbing headlines nearly everywhere else, but the jihadis of northern Iraq haven’t been getting much play in China. But a threat by the Islamic State (IS) of revenge against countries, including China, for seizing what IS calls « Muslim rights » appears to have changed all that. The comments were made in early July, but the news didn’t jump the language barrier from Arabic into Mandarin until August 8, when Phoenix Weekly, a Hong Kong-based newsmagazine widely distributed in China, made the IS revenge threats against China its cover story. Since then, the article has been widely syndicated on Chinese news websites and has gained traction on social media as well. Ordinary Chinese who may have felt distant from the carnage now feel it creeping closer to home.

The glossy cover of the Phoenix issue features a picture of masked gun-toting jihadis advancing through a desert landscape. The piece inside sounds the alarm over a July 4 speech in Mosul, Iraq, by IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in which he urged Muslims around the world to pledge their allegiance to him. It quotes Baghdadi saying that « Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine » and more than a dozen other countries and regions. « Your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades, » Baghdadi told his followers. Phoenix noted that China was mentioned first on Baghdadi’s list. (The article also includes a map that some news reports have said shows the vast territory IS plans to occupy in the next five years, which appears to include a significant portion of Xinjiang. Although the authenticity of the map, which was widely shared on English-language social media sites in early July, has been questioned, the Phoenix piece reports it as fact.)

Online, Chinese are both agitated and bemused. One Chinese reader wrote on the social media site Weibo:
« This is good. It offends all five of the hooligans on the UN Security Council » — that is, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — which means the IS jihadis « are going to be roadkill. » Anotherresponded to a photo of Baghdadi: « Looking at this bearded pervert makes me sick. Hurry up and incinerate this kind of trash, and send him to enjoy his 72 virgins in heaven. » A third wrote that ISIS seemed to have « a death wish, » but that people should be grateful because the jihadist group was giving Beijing « a reasoned and evidence-based opportunity to crack down on terrorist activities. »

This may constitute a welcome opening for Chinese authorities. China has been fighting a low-level separatist insurgency of its own in Xinjiang for decades and worries that foreign Islamic groups are infiltrating the region, emboldening the simmering independence movement. Uighur exile groups say China’s government overstates its terrorism problem and falsely paints protests that turn into riots as premeditated terror attacks. In any case, Beijing is likely alarmed by IS’s criticism of its treatment of the Muslim Uighurs and the group’s alleged plan to seize Xinjiang, no matter how far-fetched the idea might be. But just how actively authorities will deal with any IS threat remains to be seen.

Beijing has consistently tried to keep itself removed from the political and military crises roiling Iraq, even as China has poured billions of dollars into Iraqi oil, enough that about 10 percent of its oil imports come from the Middle Eastern country. China’s most decisive action since ISIS’s surge has been to evacuate 10,000 Chinese working in Iraq. On July 8, Chinese special envoy Wu Sike met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and pledged anti-terror support, but added that Beijing would fully respect the country’s sovereignty. When Wu returned to Beijing he briefed reporters about the trip on July 29, telling them that China was a victim of terror with roots in Syria and Iraq. « Solving the conflicts in Iraq and Syria will benefit China and the entire world, » he said.

But Beijing’s reaction to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq betrays its conflicted allegiances. China usually bristles at or condemns U.S. intervention in global hot spots and has opposed U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Syria, Russia, and Iran. But the interests of Washington and Beijing are unusually closely aligned when it comes to Iraq. On August 8, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that China was « keeping an open mind » about operations that would « help maintain security and stability » in Iraq. The statement came in response to a request for comment on U.S. President Barack Obama’sannouncement that the United States would carry out airstrikes against insurgents in northern Iraq. Wang Chong, a researcher at Charhar Institute, a public diplomacy think tank in Beijing, wrote on Weibo that he « firmly supported » the U.S. crackdown on IS. Wang added that the United States « ought to send ground troops to wipe out those brutal terrorists » and that if there was a need, « China could also send troops to help and provide training. »

That’s possible — within limits. Zhu Weilie, director of the Middle East Studies Institute at Shanghai International Studies University, toldthe state-run Global Times on July 29 that China believes the United Nations should lead anti-terror operations in the Middle East. « China will be more actively involved in these efforts but will never be as involved in Middle East affairs as the United States, » he said.

Voir enfin:
Hezbollah sees Islamic State insurgents as threat to Gulf, Jordan
Tom Perry
Reuters
Beirut Aug 15, 2014

(Reuters) – The Hezbollah leader described the radical Islamist movement that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria as a growing « monster » that could threaten Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states, according to an interview printed on Friday.

In a separate speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Islamic State also posed an existential threat to his own nation, Lebanon, the target of an incursion by Islamist insurgents fromSyria this month. He said his heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim group was ready to fight the threat in Lebanon – if required.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fight a Sunni Islamist-dominated insurgency that spilled into the Lebanese border town of Arsal on Aug. 2, triggering five days of battles between the Lebanese army and militants including members of Islamic State.

« Here we live, and – if the battle is imposed on us – here we fight and here we will be martyred, » said Nasrallah. Hezbollah said it stayed out of the Arsal battle, wary of inflaming sectarian tensions with Lebanese Sunnis, many of whom have supported the uprising against Assad.

Nasrallah was speaking on the eighth anniversary of the conclusion of Hezbollah’s one-month war with Israel.

Addressing the wider threat to the region from Islamic State, Nasrallah said it could easily recruit in other Arab states where its hardline ideology exists. Even Turkey, the passage for many foreign fighters into Syria, should beware.

« Wherever there are followers of the ideology there is ground for (Islamic State), and this exists in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait and the Gulf states, » Nasrallah said in the interview with the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

Nasrallah, whose group is backed by Shi’ite power Iran, said Islamic State was encountering resistance in some parts of Iraq and Syria. But « it appears that the capabilities, numbers and capacities available to (Islamic State) are vast and large. This is what is worrying everyone, and everyone should be worried. »

Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim monarchy that has been in a state of cold war with Shi’iteIran and its allies, has shown growing signs of alarm about the spread of Islamic State. Last month, it deployed 30,000 soldiers at its border with Iraq.

Saudi Arabia has also been a major sponsor of the anti-Assad uprising.

Hezbollah’s role in Syria has helped Assad beat back the rebellion against his rule in critical areas of the country including Damascus and a corridor of territory stretching north from the capital. But large parts of Syria’s less densely populated north and east have fallen to Islamic State.

« A REAL DANGER »

« This danger does not recognise Shi’ites, Sunnis, Muslims, Christians or Druze or Yazidis or Arabs or Kurds. This monster is growing and getting bigger, » said Nasrallah.

Nasrallah reiterated his defence of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian conflict, the focus of criticism from Lebanese opponents who say the group has provoked Sunni militant attacks in Lebanon.

Most recently, insurgents including members of Islamic State seized the town of Arsal at the Syrian border, battling the Lebanese army for five days before withdrawing with 19 soldiers and 17 policemen as captives.

Nasrallah said the insurgents would have advanced as far as the Lebanese coast were it not for Hezbollah’s role fighting them in areas of Syria just east of the Lebanese border.

« Going to fight in Syria was, in the first degree, to defend Lebanon, the resistance in Lebanon, and all Lebanese, » he said.

A Hezbollah commander was last month killed in Iraq near Mosul, a city seized by Islamic State in June, suggesting the group may also be helping pro-government forces there.

Hezbollah has not officially announced any role in Iraq.

Nasrallah linked the threat posed by Islamic State to the spread of Wahhabism, a puritanical school of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia that demands obedience to the ruler but which has been widely blamed for fuelling Sunni radicalism.

« (Islamic State) does not have borders. There is a real danger and a real fear among many states and authorities, because one of the advantages of this organisation is its capacity to recruit among followers of al Qaeda-Wahhabi thought, » he said.

(Additional reporting by Laila Bassam; Editing by Mark Heinrich)


Islam: Les djihadistes sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran (The progress of totalitarianism depends on and is inseparable from liberal naïveté)

18 août, 2014
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Nous ne savons pas si Hitler est sur le point de fonder un nouvel islam. Il est d’ores et déjà sur la voie; il ressemble à Mahomet. L’émotion en Allemagne est islamique, guerrière et islamique. Ils sont tous ivres d’un dieu farouche. Jung (1939)
Ceux qui affirment que Mahomet était pacifiste sont des menteurs et des incultes. Il a usé de la violence et l’a prêchée. Mohammed Bouyeri (assassin de Theo Van Gogh, 2 février 2006)
Dire que l’islamisme n’est pas l’islam, qu’il n’a rien à voir avec l’islam, est faux. Pour le musulman d’hier et d’aujourd’hui il n’y a qu’un seul Coran comme il n’y a qu’un seul prophète. (…) Entre l’islam et l’islamisme, il n’y a pas de différence de nature mais de degré. L’islamisme est présent dans l’islam comme le poussin l’est dans l’oeuf. Il n’y a pas de bon ou mauvais islam, pas plus qu’il n’y a d’islam modéré. En revanche il y a des musulmans modérés, ceux qui n’appliquent que partiellement l’islam. Anne-Marie Delcambre
Il est ironique et décourageant que beaucoup d’intellectuels occidentaux non-musulmans – qui prétendent sans cesse qu’ils soutiennent les droits de la personne – sont devenus des obstacles à la reforme de l’islam. Le politiquement correct parmi les Occidentaux empêche la critique non ambiguë de l’inhumanité de la charia. Ils trouvent des excuses socio-économiques ou politiques pour le terrorisme islamiste tels que la pauvreté, le colonialisme, la discrimination ou l’existence d’Israël. Quelle incitation peut-il y avoir pour que les musulmans exigent la réforme de leur religion quand les “progressistes” occidentaux préparent le terrain pour la barbarie islamiste? Tawfik Hamid
C’est à vous, théologiens et ecclésiastiques islamiques, de produire une charia qui soit acceptée par le monde islamique et qui enseigne que les juifs ne sont pas des porcs et des singes, que la guerre pour diffuser l’islam est inacceptable et que tuer les apostats est un crime. Un tel livre montrerait que l’islam est une religion de paix. Tawfik Hamid
Dans le monde moderne, même les ennemis de la raison ne peuvent être ennemis de la raison. Même les plus déraisonnables doivent être, d’une façon ou d’une autre, raisonnables. (…) En cohérence avec cette idée, les socialistes regardaient ce qui se passait outre-Rhin et refusaient simplement de croire que ces millions d’Allemands avaient adhéré à un mouvement politique dont les principes conjuguaient théories paranoïaques du complot, haines à glacer le sang, superstitions moyenâgeuses et appel au meurtre. Paul Berman (Terror and liberalism, 2001)
The progress of totalitarianism depends on and is inseparable from this kind of liberal naïveté. Without the cooperation of the Fellow Travelers with Stalin, without the French anti-war socialists in the case of Hitler, without the naïveté of any number of conservatives and democratic right-wingers in the case of a variety of fascists and Nazis, without the naïveté even of the United States with regard to Hitler straight through the 1930s, it would be inconceivable to imagine that these movements would have gotten very far. So it is a mistake to think of the totalitarian movements as isolated. They existed in a dynamic, and part of the dynamic is the liberal naïve unwillingness to recognize them as what they are. (…) The success of Muslim totalitarianism has depended on liberal naïveté — in fact, blindness. The eyes of the world have not been on these millions who have been killed in the last twenty years. Always the liberals all over the world have wanted to describe these movements as in some way rational and conventional, as movements based on grievances — “The movements are anti-Zionist, and isn’t it the case that Israel has often been at fault?” “The movements are anti-American, and isn’t it the case that the United States has often been at fault?” And these grievances do exist, but the effort to take them seriously tends often to distort their madness in such a way as to make it unrecognizable, for totalitarian doctrines are always mad. The Nazis thought they were engaged in a biological struggle. The Stalinists thought they were the proletariat and their enemies were the bourgeois exploiters. The Baathists and Islamists see a cosmic Zionist-Crusader conspiracy. It is important to keep a sense of the madness in these ideas, even if it is true that in the years after World War I some Germans were oppressed outside of the borders of Germany, and Israel and the U.S. have done bad things. All of the totalitarian movements were at bottom ideological movements, not based on a normal sense of grievances of political claims or expression of real-life interests, but movements based on ideological visions. Each of these movements in the past was defeated not militarily but ideologically. World War II was violent and military, but although D-Day was important, de-Nazification was the actual victory. The defeat of Nazism militarily would not have been all that helpful if Germany, which is inherently an extremely wealthy and powerful society, had continued to remain a society of millions and millions of convinced Nazis. The same is true now. The struggle we are involved in now has, had, and will continue to have a military aspect, but this aspect must be secondary to the ideological aspect, to the war of ideas. The basic danger we are facing now is not weapons of mass destruction, per se, because we know very well that box cutters can be lethal weapons of the worst sort. The danger that we face is not inherently military; it’s not armies in the conventional sense. It is above all ideological. As long as millions of people are committed fanatically to doctrines that are ultimately mad and that follow in the tradition of the totalitarian madnesses of Europe in the twentieth century, the danger persists. I maintain that the struggle we are involved in is, or ought to be, ultimately a war of ideas. Paul Berman
Beaucoup, violents ou pas, sont abreuvés par des sites qui montrent l’ennemi « croisé » ou « sioniste » dans son horreur destructrice, « tueur d’enfants et de civils »… Mais le point crucial est le retour qu’on leur fait faire au texte fondateur, au Coran, où les « gens du Livre », juifs et chrétiens, représentés aujourd’hui par l’Amérique, Israël et un peu l’Europe, sont qualifiés de pervers, faussaires, injustes, traîtres, etc. Certains leur citent des versets plus calmes, comme « Point de contrainte en religion », ou comme « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré », mais c’est qu’ils vont voir de près dans le texte, ils vérifient et ils trouvent : « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré sauf pour une cause juste. » Quant au verset du libre choix, ils le voient encadré de violentes malédictions contre ceux qui font le mauvais choix. En somme, on manque cruellement d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam ; et pour cause, ils sont recouverts d’un tabou, et toute remarque critique les concernant passe pour islamophobe dans le discours conformiste organisé, qui revient à imposer aux musulmans le même tabou, à les enfermer dans le cadre identitaire dont on décide qu’il doit être le leur (on voit même des juges de la République se référer au Coran pour arrêter leur décision…). Il y a donc un secret de Polichinelle sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam envers les autres, violence qui, en fait, n’a rien d’extraordinaire : toute identité qui se fonde est prodigue en propos violents envers les autres. Mais, avec le tabou et le conformisme imposés, cette violence reste indiscutée et semble indépassable. Récemment, dans Islam, phobie, culpabilité (Odile Jacob, 2013), j’ai posé ce problème avec sérénité, en montrant que les djihadistes, les extrémistes, sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran, portés par elle plutôt qu’ils ne la portent ; ils se shootent à cette vérité de la vindicte envers les autres, et même envers des musulmans, qu’il faut rappeler au droit chemin. Le livre est lu et circule bien, mais dans les médias officiels il a fait l’objet d’une vraie censure, celle-là même qu’il analyse, qui se trouve ainsi confirmée. Raconter ses méandres, ce serait décrire l’autocensure où nous vivons, où la peur pour la place est la phobie suprême : une réalité se juge d’après les risques qu’elle vous ferait courir ou les appuis qu’elle lui apporte. (…) La difficulté, c’est qu’un texte fondateur est comme un être vivant : dès qu’il se sent un peu lâché par les siens, il suscite des êtres « héroïques », des martyrs pour faire éclater sa vérité. Quitte à éclater le corps des autres. D’autres approches de cette « vérité » exigeraient un peu de courage de la part des élites, qui sont plutôt dans le déni. Pour elles, il n’y a pas de problème de fond, il y a quelques excités qui perdent la tête. Il ne faut pas dire que leur acte serait lié au Coran, si peu que ce soit. Le problème est bien voilé derrière des citations tronquées, des traductions édulcorées, témoignant, au fond, d’un mépris pour le Coran et ses fidèles. On a donc un symptôme cliniquement intéressant : quand un problème se pose et qu’il est interdit d’en parler, un nouveau problème se pose, celui de cet interdit. Puis un troisième : comment zigzaguer entre les deux ? Cela augmente le taux de poses « faux culs » très au-delà du raisonnable. Daniel Sibony

Alors que de la Syrie à l’Irak et à Gaza en passant par l’Afrique, s’accumulent les preuves de plus en plus irréfutables  …

Pendant que nos médias et nos belles âmes continuent à s’acharner sur le seul Etat d‘Israël

Qui, en ces temps de politiquement correct, osera dire la vérité sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam et du coran ?

Pourquoi des djihadistes français ?
Daniel Sibony
Marianne
1 Juin 2014

Pour le philosophe et psychanalyste Daniel Sibony, il y aurait une « violence fondatrice de l’islam ». Une « violence » qui n’échapperait pas aux jeunes djihadistes français qui, eux, regardent de près le Coran. Mais pour l’auteur de l’essai intitulé « Islam, phobie, culpabilité », il est difficile de « poser ce problème avec sérénité » : « On manque cruellement, regrette-t-il, d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam ».
Pourquoi des djihadistes français ?

Daniel Sibony

Marianne

23 mai 2014
Les jeunes djihadistes français (et en fait européens) sont un symptôme. Leurs parents sont souvent sidérés, d’autant plus quand ils sont musulmans : de familles venues du Maghreb, désireuses de vivre à l’européenne, de prendre leurs distances vis-à-vis d’un discours religieux assez pesant, voire intégriste, et du mode d’être qui l’accompagne. Ils sont donc stupéfiés de voir leurs jeunes fils reprendre le flambeau de l’origine pure et dure. C’est compter sans l’écart des générations, écart qui peut tourner à la rupture quand les jeunes se mettent en tête de pourfendre les compromis et les « semblants » de leurs parents, pour brandir une exigence de plénitude qui vire au fanatisme (surtout chez les convertis, encore plus avides de plénitude identitaire). Certains d’entre eux, même s’ils ne passent pas à l’acte, réprouvent la mollesse spirituelle de leurs parents et rejoignent le giron intégriste qui leur fournit une identité sans faille.

Beaucoup, violents ou pas, sont abreuvés par des sites qui montrent l’ennemi « croisé » ou « sioniste » dans son horreur destructrice, « tueur d’enfants et de civils »… Mais le point crucial est le retour qu’on leur fait faire au texte fondateur, au Coran, où les « gens du Livre », juifs et chrétiens, représentés aujourd’hui par l’Amérique, Israël et un peu l’Europe, sont qualifiés de pervers, faussaires, injustes, traîtres, etc. Certains leur citent des versets plus calmes, comme « Point de contrainte en religion », ou comme « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré », mais c’est qu’ils vont voir de près dans le texte, ils vérifient et ils trouvent : « Ne tuez pas l’homme que Dieu a sacré sauf pour une cause juste. » Quant au verset du libre choix, ils le voient encadré de violentes malédictions contre ceux qui font le mauvais choix.

En somme, on manque cruellement d’une parole ouverte et libre concernant les fondamentaux de l’islam ; et pour cause, ils sont recouverts d’un tabou, et toute remarque critique les concernant passe pour islamophobe dans le discours conformiste organisé, qui revient à imposer aux musulmans le même tabou, à les enfermer dans le cadre identitaire dont on décide qu’il doit être le leur (on voit même des juges de la République se référer au Coran pour arrêter leur décision…). Il y a donc un secret de Polichinelle sur la violence fondatrice de l’islam envers les autres, violence qui, en fait, n’a rien d’extraordinaire : toute identité qui se fonde est prodigue en propos violents envers les autres. Mais, avec le tabou et le conformisme imposés, cette violence reste indiscutée et semble indépassable. Récemment, dans Islam, phobie, culpabilité (Odile Jacob, 2013), j’ai posé ce problème avec sérénité, en montrant que les djihadistes, les extrémistes, sont au fond les seuls à crier une certaine vérité du Coran, portés par elle plutôt qu’ils ne la portent ; ils se shootent à cette vérité de la vindicte envers les autres, et même envers des musulmans, qu’il faut rappeler au droit chemin. Le livre est lu et circule bien, mais dans les médias officiels il a fait l’objet d’une vraie censure, celle-là même qu’il analyse, qui se trouve ainsi confirmée. Raconter ses méandres, ce serait décrire l’autocensure où nous vivons, où la peur pour la place est la phobie suprême : une réalité se juge d’après les risques qu’elle vous ferait courir ou les appuis qu’elle lui apporte.

J’apprends que la police anglaise demande aux mères musulmanes d’empêcher leurs jeunes de partir combattre en Syrie, c’est touchant ; tout comme l’appel français à la délation de jeunes suspectés de vouloir s’enrôler. Bref, n’importe quoi plutôt que d’affronter le problème – qui comporte aussi leur éventuel retour, un vrai retour de bâton si on ne fait rien « faute de preuves » quand ils reviennent.

La difficulté, c’est qu’un texte fondateur est comme un être vivant : dès qu’il se sent un peu lâché par les siens, il suscite des êtres « héroïques », des martyrs pour faire éclater sa vérité. Quitte à éclater le corps des autres. D’autres approches de cette « vérité » exigeraient un peu de courage de la part des élites, qui sont plutôt dans le déni. Pour elles, il n’y a pas de problème de fond, il y a quelques excités qui perdent la tête. Il ne faut pas dire que leur acte serait lié au Coran, si peu que ce soit. Le problème est bien voilé derrière des citations tronquées, des traductions édulcorées, témoignant, au fond, d’un mépris pour le Coran et ses fidèles. On a donc un symptôme cliniquement intéressant : quand un problème se pose et qu’il est interdit d’en parler, un nouveau problème se pose, celui de cet interdit. Puis un troisième : comment zigzaguer entre les deux ? Cela augmente le taux de poses « faux culs » très au-delà du raisonnable.
* Daniel Sibony est philosophe et psychanalyste, auteur des Trois monothéismes. Juifs, chrétiens, musulmans entre leurs sources et leurs destins (Seuil, 1992).

Voir aussi:

Who is Israel’s Most Powerful Enemy? The West
This is what happens in the West when Israel decides that thousands of rockets are enough.

Giulio Meotti
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly

Israelnationalnews

August 10, 2014

According to the definition given by a kibbutznik turned billionaire, Israel is “a villa in the jungle”.

Israel is an oasis surrounded by barbarians, beheaders, suicide bombers, mothers happy to send their own children to kill Jews – Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Salafists, Hezbollah, Islamic State, Iranian revolutionary guards… The list of the jihadist scum is long.

But Israel’s most powerful enemy is the West itself.

Israel is an oasis surrounded by barbarians, beheaders, suicide bombers, mothers happy to send their own children to kill Jews …
Israel’s wars to defend itself are always the chance to see an incredible eruption of hatred in the Western democracies and their élite.

Think about what has happened in the last few days.

A London theatre, Trycicle, boycotted the Jewish Festival because the festival got 1,000 pounds from the Israeli embassy.

Spain’s government announced it will impose a weapons’ embargo on Israel.

The self-hating Jew George Soros freed his fund from its Israeli assets.

Most of Hollywood’s stars, with the noble but solitary exception of Jon Voight, tweeted anti-Semitism.

In the UK, commercial chains such as John Lewis and Tesco, boycotted Israeli goods.

The Nobel Prize-winning Amnesty International, which once bravely fought for Andrei Sakharov, Boris Pasternak’s wife and Natan Sharansky, asked the US to stop sending fuel for Israeli tanks.

Spain’s most revered writer, Antonio Gala, cited the war between Israel and Hamas as retroactive justification for the expulsion of Jews from Spain in the 15th century. He wrote it in El Mundo, Spain’s second largest newspaper and the first Spanish website in the world.

Gala’s column is titled “Los Elegidos”. It means “the chosen”. The target is the Jews as a whole.

The former director of Unesco, the UN’s cultural agency, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, joined the boycott of the Israeli Jews.

Lawrence Weschler, for twenty years a writer for The New Yorker weekly magazine, compared Gaza to Dachau and Theresienstadt.

And the list of this Western scum is long.

There was a time when even Pablo Picasso signed appeals in favour of the State of Israel. Now his “Guernica”, about the atrocities of Franco’s government, is compared to Gaza.

And the world can hardly wait to see the Israelis at the dock of the Hague tribunal. Moshe Yaalon like Hermann Göring?

Meanwhile, Jews are secure no more in today’s Europe. In the last few weeks, in Paris and Berlin, we saw images reminiscient of the Kristallnacht.

A few days ago, Luciana Castellina, one of Italy’s most famous leftist journalists and writers, penned a front page column in which she attacked the pro- Israel rally I organized in Rome. She also regretted, sadly, that there are not enough anti-Jewish manifestations in Europe.

Muslims can kill Jewish students and bomb their homes. They can inflict pain in the wonderful society in Israel. But they can’t destroy the Jewish State. At least for the moment. At least as long as  Iran is unable to produce an atomic bomb.

By undermining Israel’s raison d’etre, the Western threat to Israeli existence has become existential, not merely tactic.

The West is making the world “Judenmüde”. Tired of Jews. The West is working so that people around the world will react to Israel’s destruction with a yawn. It is making them happy to turn the page.

Voir encore:

ISIL could pose threat to US, Europe, officials say

The group is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist outfit in the world

 August 15, 2014

U.S. air strikes not « breaking the threat » of ISIL: Pentagon

ISIL’s conquest of vast swaths of Iraqi territory this spring and summer netted it a “significant” arsenal of U.S. weapons from two Iraqi military bases, including hundreds of tanks, heavily armored Humvees, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, officials say. One U.S official tells Yahoo News ISIL is now considered “the most potent military force” of any terrorist group in the world.

Led by its charismatic chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the radical Islamist group is looking beyond its short-term goal of overthrowing the Iraqi and Syrian governments and replacing them with a self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate. “We’re seeing an expansion of its external terrorist ambitions,” one U.S. counterterrorism official said in a briefing for reporters Thursday. “As its capabilities grow, it has attracted thousands of foreign extremists — some of whom are going home to start cells. As it carves out territory [in Iraq], it wants to go beyond that and do attacks outside. ” U.S. counterterrorism agencies had put the number of ISIL fighters at about 10,000, but that figure is now being reassessed and is likely to be raised, officials say.

Just four years ago the group, then calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq, was scattered and on the run from American forces, aided by Sunni tribes horrified by the group’s often grotesque violence. Its reign has been marked by summary executions, ritual stonings, beheadings and even crucifixions.

What fueled its resurgence? Officials say the group fed off Sunni resentment over the Shia-dominated government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who announced his resignation Thursday night. It took advantage of the power vacuum in northern Iraq to seize large chunks of essentially ungoverned territory. It saw an opportunity in recruiting prisoners; in July 2013, its suicide bombers blew their way into the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, freeing up to 500 inmates, including al-Qaida leaders.

View gallery

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A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, (REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV/Files)

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from a video recording …

These demonstrable successes gave the group new credibility among jihadis around the world, especially after it joined the civil war in Syria and changed its name to ISIL. (It has at times also been known as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.) It has since changed its name again to the Islamic State after proclaiming itself a caliphate, the latest in a succession of Muslim empires dating back to the seventh century. Its ranks were soon swelled by foreigners, including hundreds of followers of the red-bearded Chechen militant Omar al-Shishani, a former Georgian army sergeant known for his deep hatred of America.

Concerns about terrorism spilling over from Syria and Iraq hit home in June when French police arrested an « armed jihadi » who had just returned from Syria in connection with the May 24 killing of four people — including two Israeli tourists — at a Jewish Center in Brussels.

Since then, authorities in Europe have broken up terror cells linked to ISIL, including one in Kosovo where officials this week arrested 40 suspects who had returned from Iraq and Syria—including some who had fought with ISIL — and seized weapons and explosives in dozens of locations.

ISIL and its followers have also proven adept at using social media, making a steady barrage of threats against the West, including the United States.

“Probably most striking are the threats on Twitter,” said a U.S. official who monitors the postings. “We’ve seen tens of thousands of postings by ten of thousands of people supporting ISIL, making threats to blow up U.S. Embassies. » One posting showed an ISIL banner apparently superimposed on an image of the White House.

It is still unclear how real those threats are, at least while ISIL is focused on its war with the Iraqi government. And the resignation of the deeply unpopular Maliki could allow for more U.S.-Iraqi cooperation in the fight against the insurgents.

But increasingly, officials say, ISIL has the perception of momentum. For the first time there are signs that some jihadis linked to al-Qaida are expressing sympathy, if not allegiance, to ISIL — despite al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri’s disavowal of the group.

One thing ISIL does not lack is funds. The group has seized banks, accumulating vast amounts of cash and raking in more by selling oil and other commodities to smugglers. ISIL “is flush with cash. It has plenty of money. They control oil fields, they have refiners. They have hundreds of millions of dollars,” said one U.S. analyst at the Thursday briefing.

And it is exceptionally well armed. When ISIL forces assaulted two Iraqi military bases, Camp Speicher and Rasheed Air Base, in July, they got the keys to the kingdom — hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of American tanks, armored personal carriers, howitzers and other equipment. ISIL fighters have posed for videos brandishing MANPADS, shoulder-launched surface to air missiles that can shoot down low-flying aircraft.

View gallery

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This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Across the broad swath of territory it controls from northern Syria through northern and western Iraq, the extremist group known as the Islamic State has proven to be highly organized governors. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is …

“They’ve got enough supplies, equipment and ammunition to last them five years,” said John Maguire, a former top CIA officer in Iraq who retains close ties to the Kurdish regional government. Thanks in part to assistance from former Iraqi military officers who have defected to ISIL, “they know how to operate American equipment.”

What they also have, at least for the moment, is a de facto safe haven. Al-Baghdadi — who officials say sees himself as the true successor to Osama bin Laden — is believed to be constantly on the move. But ISIL appears to have established a headquarters in Raqqa in northern Syria, where the group’s black banners reportedly fly over administrative buildings.

Given that President Obama has placed sharp limits on U.S. airstrikes and confined them to Iraq, that effectively makes Baghdadi and his top deputies — almost all of whom were once in U.S. custody — off-limits to U.S. military action. The Raqqa safe haven “is a problem,” acknowledged one U.S. official.

The bottom line, U.S. counterterrorism officials say, is that new strategies are urgently needed to counter the surging ISIL threat. In the briefing for reporters Thursday, one senior official made the point in the most understated way possible: “We don’t assess at the moment this [the threat from ISIL] is something that will collapse on its own.”


Hamas: De même que pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam (For the Hamas, Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection as long as Heaven and earth last)

3 août, 2014
Le roi de Moab, voyant qu’il avait le dessous dans le combat, prit avec lui sept cents hommes tirant l’épée pour se frayer un passage jusqu’au roi d’Édom; mais ils ne purent pas. Il prit alors son fils premier-né, qui devait régner à sa place, et il l’offrit en holocauste sur la muraille. Et une grande indignation s’empara d’Israël, qui s’éloigna du roi de Moab et retourna dans son pays. 2 Rois 3: 26-27
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique aspire à l’accomplissement de la promesse de Dieu, quel que soit le temps nécessaire. L’Apôtre de Dieu -que Dieu lui donne bénédiction et paix- a dit : « L’Heure ne viendra pas avant que les musulmans n’aient combattu les Juifs (c’est à dire que les musulmans ne les aient tués), avant que les Juifs ne se fussent cachés derrière les pierres et les arbres et que les pierres et les arbres eussent dit : ‘Musulman, serviteur de Dieu ! Un Juif se cache derrière moi, viens et tue-le. Charte du Hamas (article 7)
Le Mouvement de la Résistance Islamique croit que la Palestine est un Waqf islamique consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jugement Dernier. Pas une seule parcelle ne peut en être dilapidée ou abandonnée à d’autres. Aucun pays arabe, président arabe ou roi arabe, ni tous les rois et présidents arabes réunis, ni une organisation même palestinienne n’a le droit de le faire. La Palestine est un Waqf musulman consacré aux générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Qui peut prétendre avoir le droit de représenter les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier ? Tel est le statut de la terre de Palestine dans la Charia, et il en va de même pour toutes les terres conquises par l’islam et devenues terres de Waqf dès leur conquête, pour être consacrées à toutes les générations de musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Il en est ainsi depuis que les chefs des armées islamiques ont conquis les terres de Syrie et d’Irak et ont demandé au Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, s’ils devaient partager ces terres entre les soldats ou les laisser à leurs propriétaires. Suite à des consultations et des discussions entre le Calife des musulmans, Omar Ibn-al Khattab, et les compagnons du Prophète, Allah le bénisse, il fut décidé que la terre soit laissée à ses propriétaires pour qu’ils profitent de ses fruits. Cependant, la propriété véritable et la terre même doit être consacrée aux seuls musulmans jusqu’au Jour du Jugement Dernier. Ceux qui se trouvent sur ces terres peuvent uniquement profiter de ses fruits. Ce waqf persiste tant que le Ciel et la Terre existent. Toute procédure en contradiction avec la Charia islamique en ce qui concerne la Palestine est nulle et non avenue.« C’est la vérité infaillible. Célèbre le nom d’Allah le Très-Haut » (Coran, LVI, 95-96). Charte du Hamas (article 11)
The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah. Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world. Atallah Abu al-Subh (former Hamas minister of culture, 2011)
Right now, Israel is much more powerful than Hezbollah and Hamas. Let’s say tomorrow this was reversed. Let’s say Hamas had the firepower of Israel and Israel had the firepower of Hamas. What do you think would happen to Israel were the balance of power reversed? David Wolpe (rabbi of Los Angeles Sinai Temple)
The truth is that there is an obvious, undeniable, and hugely consequential moral difference between Israel and her enemies. The Israelis are surrounded by people who have explicitly genocidal intentions towards them. The charter of Hamas is explicitly genocidal. It looks forward to a time, based on Koranic prophesy, when the earth itself will cry out for Jewish blood, where the trees and the stones will say “O Muslim, there’s a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.” This is a political document. We are talking about a government that was voted into power by a majority of Palestinians. (…) The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking. Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that itshould have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews. And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. And this is something I discussed in The End of Faith. To see this moral difference, you have to ask what each side would do if they had the power to do it. What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children. They could target as many children as they want. Every time a Palestinian child dies, Israel edges ever closer to becoming an international pariah. So the Israelis take great pains not to kill children and other noncombatants. (…)What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas. And again, the charter of their government in Gaza explicitly tells us that they want to annihilate the Jews—not just in Israel but everywhere.(…) The truth is that everything you need to know about the moral imbalance between Israel and her enemies can be understood on the topic of human shields. Who uses human shields? Well, Hamas certainly does. They shoot their rockets from residential neighborhoods, from beside schools, and hospitals, and mosques. Muslims in other recent conflicts, in Iraq and elsewhere, have also used human shields. They have laid their rifles on the shoulders of their own children and shot from behind their bodies. Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we’re talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be. It is morally abhorrent to kill noncombatants if you can avoid it. It’s certainly abhorrent to shoot through the bodies of children to get at your adversary. But take a moment to reflect on how contemptible this behavior is. And understand how cynical it is. The Muslims are acting on the assumption—the knowledge, in fact—that the infidels with whom they fight, the very people whom their religion does nothing but vilify, will be deterred by their use of Muslim human shields. They consider the Jews the spawn of apes and pigs—and yet they rely on the fact that they don’t want to kill Muslim noncombatants.(…) Now imagine reversing the roles here. Imagine how fatuous—indeed comical it would be—for the Israelis to attempt to use human shields to deter the Palestinians. (…) But Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit. If you’re going to talk about the conflict in the Middle East, you have to acknowledge this difference. I don’t think there’s any ethical disparity to be found anywhere that is more shocking or consequential than this. And the truth is, this isn’t even the worst that jihadists do. Hamas is practically a moderate organization, compared to other jihadist groups. There are Muslims who have blown themselves up in crowds of children—again, Muslim children—just to get at the American soldiers who were handing out candy to them. They have committed suicide bombings, only to send another bomber to the hospital to await the casualities—where they then blow up all the injured along with the doctors and nurses trying to save their lives. Every day that you could read about an Israeli rocket gone astray or Israeli soldiers beating up an innocent teenager, you could have read about ISIS in Iraq crucifying people on the side of the road, Christians and Muslims. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world and on the Left over these crimes? Where are the demonstrations, 10,000 or 100,000 deep, in the capitals of Europe against ISIS?  If Israel kills a dozen Palestinians by accident, the entire Muslim world is inflamed. God forbid you burn a Koran, or write a novel vaguely critical of the faith. And yet Muslims can destroy their own societies—and seek to destroy the West—and you don’t hear a peep. (…) These incompatible religious attachments to this land have made it impossible for Muslims and Jews to negotiate like rational human beings, and they have made it impossible for them to live in peace. But the onus is still more on the side of the Muslims here. Even on their worst day, the Israelis act with greater care and compassion and self-criticism than Muslim combatants have anywhere, ever. And again, you have to ask yourself, what do these groups want? What would they accomplish if they could accomplish anything? What would the Israelis do if they could do what they want? They would live in peace with their neighbors, if they had neighbors who would live in peace with them. They would simply continue to build out their high tech sector and thrive. (…) What do groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and even Hamas want? They want to impose their religious views on the rest of humanity. They want stifle every freedom that decent, educated, secular people care about. This is not a trivial difference. And yet judging from the level of condemnation that Israel now receives, you would think the difference ran the other way. This kind of confusion puts all of us in danger. This is the great story of our time. For the rest of our lives, and the lives of our children, we are going to be confronted by people who don’t want to live peacefully in a secular, pluralistic world, because they are desperate to get to Paradise, and they are willing to destroy the very possibility of human happiness along the way. The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet. Sam Harris
On ne manque pas d’images du conflit de Gaza. Nous avons vu les décombres, les enfants palestiniens morts, les Israéliens courir aux abris pendant les attaques de roquettes, les manœuvres israéliennes et les images fournies par l’armée israélienne des militants du Hamas sortant de tunnels pour attaquer les soldats israéliens. Nous n’avons pratiquement pas vu aucune image d’hommes armés du Hamas à Gaza. Nous savons qu’ils sont là : il y a bien quelqu’un qui doit se charger de lancer les roquettes sur Israël (plus de 2 800) et de les tirer sur les troupes israéliennes dans Gaza. Pourtant, jusqu’à maintenant, les seules images que nous avons vues (ou dont nous avons même entendu parler) sont les vidéos fournies par l’armée israélienne de terroristes du Hamas utilisant les hôpitaux, les ambulances, les mosquées, les écoles (et les tunnels) pour lancer des attaques contre des cibles israéliennes ou transporter des armes autour de Gaza. Pourquoi n’avons nous pas vu des photographies prises par des journalistes d’hommes du Hamas dans Gaza ? Nous savons que le Hamas ne veut pas que le monde voit les hommes armés palestiniens en train de lancer de roquettes ou utilisant des lieux peuplés de civils comme des bases d’opération. Mais si l’on peut voir des images des deux côtés pratiquement dans toutes les guerres, en Syrie, en Ukraine, en Irak, pourquoi Gaza fait-elle figure d’exception ? Si des journalistes sont menacés et intimidés lorsqu’ils essaient de documenter les activités du Hamas dans Gaza, leurs agences de presse devraient le dire publiquement. (…) Pour de nombreux spectateurs, le récit de cette guerre doit apparaître très clair : le puissant Israël bombarde des Palestiniens sans défense. C’est compréhensible lorsque l’on ne voit presque aucune photographie des agresseurs palestiniens. (…) Ce n’est pas un détail. L’opinion publique est un élément crucial dans ce conflit. Elle va jouer un rôle pour déterminer quand les combats cesseront, à quoi ressemblera le cessez-le-feu et qui portera en priorité la responsabilité pour la mort d’innocents. Si les grands médias suppriment les images des terroristes du Hamas utilisant des civils comme des boucliers et utilisant des écoles et des hôpitaux comme des bases d’opérations, alors les gens autour du monde auront naturellement du mal à voir les Israéliens comme autre chose que des agresseurs et les Palestiniens comme autre chose que des victimes. Times of Israel
Les menaces du Hamas ne sont pas responsables de l’ignorance et de la stupidité de la couverture des hostilités à Gaza, mais elles sont en partie responsables. Les journalistes et les médias employeurs coopèrent avec le Hamas non seulement en passant sous silence des histoires qui ne servent pas la cause du Hamas, mais aussi en ne parlant pas des conditions restrictives dans lesquelles ils travaillent. Scott Johnson
Pourtant, le sionisme, sans doute plus que toute autre idéologie contemporaine, est diabolisé. « Tous les sionistes sont des cibles légitimes partout dans le monde! » énonce une bannière récemment brandie par des manifestants anti-Israël au Danemark. « Les chiens sont admis dans cet établissement, mais pas les sionistes, en aucune circonstance », prévient une pancarte à la fenêtre d’un café belge. On a dit à un manifestant juif en Islande : « Toi porc sioniste, je vais te couper la tête. »Dans certains milieux universitaires et médiatiques, le sionisme est synonyme de colonialisme et d’impérialisme. Les critiques d’extrême droite et gauche le comparent au racisme ou, pire, au nazisme. Et cela en Occident. Au Moyen-Orient, le sionisme est l’abomination ultime – le produit d’un Holocauste que beaucoup dans la région nient avoir jamais existé, ce qui ne les empêche pas de maintenir que les sionistes l’ont bien mérité. Qu’est-ce qui, dans ​​le sionisme, suscite un tel dégoût ? Après tout, le désir d’un peuple dispersé d’avoir son propre Etat ne peut être si révulsif, surtout sachant que ce même peuple a enduré des siècles de massacres et d’expulsions, qui ont atteint leur paroxysme dans le plus grand assassinat de masse de l’histoire. Peut-être la révulsion envers le sionisme découle-t-elle de sa mixture inhabituelle d’identité nationale, de religion et de fidélité à une terre. Le Japon s’en rapproche le plus, mais malgré son passé rapace, le nationalisme japonais ne suscite pas la révulsion provoquée par le sionisme. Il est clair que l’antisémitisme, dans ses versions européenne et musulmane, joue un rôle. Fauteurs de cabales, faucheurs d’argent, conquérants du monde et assassins de bébés – toutes ces diffamations autrefois jetées à la tête des Juifs le sont aujourd’hui à celle des sionistes. Et à l’image des capitalistes antisémites qui voyaient tous les Juifs comme des communistes et des communistes pour qui le capitalisme était intrinsèquement juif, les adversaires du sionisme le décrivent comme l’Autre abominable. Mais tous ces détracteurs sont des fanatiques, et certains parmi eux sont des Juifs. Pour un nombre croissant de Juifs progressistes, le sionisme est un nationalisme militant, tandis que pour de nombreux Juifs ultra-orthodoxes, ce mouvement n’est pas suffisamment pieux – voire même hérétique. Comment un idéal si universellement vilipendé peut-il conserver sa légitimité, ou même prétendre être un succès ? Michael Oren
To remember the historical milieu compels every sincere observer to admit that there is no necessary connection between al-Miraj and sovereign rights over Jerusalem since, in the time when the Prophet… consecrated the place with his footprints on the Stone, the City was not a part of the Islamic State – whose borders were then limited to the Arabian Peninsula – but under Byzantine administration. Moreover, although radical preachers try to remove this from exegesis, the Glorious Quran expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims. We read in Surah al-Baqarah: “…They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qiblah), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other’s direction of prayer….” All Quranic annotators explain that « thy qiblah » is obviously the Kaabah of Mecca, while « their qiblah  » refers to the Temple Site in Jerusalem. To quote just one of the most important of them, we read in Qadi Baydawi’s Commentary : “Verily, in their prayers Jews orientate themselves toward the Rock (al-Sakhrah), while Christians orientate themselves eastwards….” As opposed to what sectarian radicals continuously claim, the Book that is a guide for those who abide by Islam—as we have just now shown—recognizes Jerusalem as Jewish direction of prayer…. After…deep reflection about the implications of this approach, it is not difficult to understand that separation in directions of prayer is a mean[s] to decrease possible rivalries in [the] management of [the] Holy Places. For those who receive from Allah the gift of equilibrium and the attitude to reconciliation, it should not be difficult to conclude that, as no one is willing to deny Muslims… complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view… there is not any sound theological reason to deny an equal right of Jews over Jerusalem. Abdul-Hadi Palazzi (“Antizionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary Islamic Milieu)
Affirming Israel’s « right to exist » is as unacceptable as denying that right, because even posing the question of whether or not the Children of Israel (Jews) — individually, collectively or nationally — have a « right to exist » is unacceptable. Israel exists by Divine Right, confirmed in both the Bible and Qur’an. I find in the Qur’an that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle therein (Qur’an, Sura 5:21) and that before the Last Day He will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of their Land, gathering them from different countries and nations (Qu’ran, Sura 17:104). Consequently, as a Muslim who abides by the Qur’an, I believe that opposing the existence of the State of Israel means opposing a Divine decree. Every time Arabs fought against Israel they suffered humiliating defeats. In opposing the will of God by making war on Israel, Arabs were in effect making war on God Himself. They ignored the Qur’an, and God punished them. Now, having learned nothing from defeat after defeat, Arabs want to obtain through terror what they were unable to obtain through war: the destruction of the State of Israel. The result is quite predictable: as they have been defeated in the past, the Arabs will be defeated again. In 1919, Emir Feisal (leader of the Hashemite family, i.e., the leader of the family of the Prophet Muhammad) reached an Agreement with Chaim Weizmann for the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab Kingdom having the Jordan river as a border between them. Emir Feisal wrote, « We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together. The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. » In Feisal’s time, none claimed that accepting the creation of the State of Israel and befriending Zionism was against Islam. Even the Arab leaders who opposed the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement never resorted to an Islamic argument to condemn it. Unfortunately that Agreement was never implemented, since the British opposed the creation of the Arab Kingdom and chose to give sovereignty over Arabia to Ibn Sa’ud’s marauders, i.e., to the forefathers of the House of Sa’ud. When the Saudis started ruling an oil rich Kingdom, they also started investing a regular part of their wealth in spreading Wahhabism worldwide. Wahhabism is a totalitarian cult which stands for terror, massacre of civilians and for permanent war against Jews, Christians and non-Wahhabi Muslims. The influence of Wahhabism in the contemporary Arab world is such that many Arab Muslims are wrongly convinced that, in order to be a good Muslim, one must hate Israel and hope for its destruction. (…) The Bible says that God gave the Land of Israel as a heritage to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and gave the rest of the world as a heritage to other peoples. As confirmed by the Qur’an and Islamic tradition, Abraham himself bequeathed to his descendants from Isaac the Land of Israel, and bequeathed to his descendants from Ishmael other lands, such as the Arabian peninsula. Now descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, have a gigantic territory extending from Morocco to Iraq. The descendants of Isaac, the Jews, on the contrary, only have a tiny, narrow strip of land. However, Arab dictators are not satisfied with their huge territory. They want more. They also want the little heritage of the Children of Israel, and resort to terror in order to get it. Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi (Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community)
To win a war, one must identify who the enemy is and neutralize the enemy’s chain of command. World War Two was won when the German army was destroyed, Berlin was captured and Hitler removed from power. To win the War on Terror, it is necessary to understand that al-Qa’ida is a Saudi organization, created by the House of Sa’ud, funded with petro-dollar profits by the House of Sa’ud and used by the House of Sa’ud for acts of mass terror primarily against the West, and the rest of the world, as well. Consequently, to really win the War on Terror it is necessary for the U.S. to invade Saudi Arabia, capture King Abdallah and the other 1,500 princes who constitute the House of Sa’ud, to freeze their assets, to remove them from power, and to send them to Guantanamo for life imprisonment. Then it is necessary to replace the Saudi-Wahhabi terror-funding regime with a moderate, non-Wahhabi and pro-West regime, such as a Hashemite Sunni Muslim constitutional monarchy. Unless all this is done, the War on Terror will never be won. It is possible to destroy al-Qa’ida, to capture or execute Bin Laden, al-Zarqawi, al-Zawahiri, etc., but this will not end the War. After some years, Saudi princes will again start funding many similar terror organizations. The Saudi regime can only survive by increasing its support for terror. Saddam’s regime was one of the worst criminal dictatorships which existed in this world, and destroying it was surely a praiseworthy task for which, as a Muslim, I am thankful to President Bush, to the governments who joined the Coalition and to soldiers who fought in the field. Destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq were surely praiseworthy tasks, but I regret that focusing on these secondary enemies was — for the White House — a way to obscure the role of the world’s main enemy: the Saudis. (…)  I am extremely disappointed with him. I hoped that — after Saudi terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11 — this would necessarily cause a radical revision in U.S.-Saudi relations. The first action a U.S. President had to do after such a criminal attack as 9/11 was to immediately outlaw Saudi-controlled institutions inside the U.S. and acknowledge that viewing Saudis as « friends » was a mortal sin representing sixty years of failed U.S. foreign and economic policy. U.S. governmental agencies have plenty of evidence about the role of the House of Sa’ud in funding the worldwide terror network. U.S. citizens can even read in newspapers that some days before the 9/11 attack Muhammad Atta received a check from the wife of the former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar, but unbelievably this caused no consequences. Let us consider plain facts: the wife of a foreign ambassador pays terrorists for attacks which murder thousands of U.S. citizens, and the U.S. government not only does not declare war on that foreign country, in this case Saudi Arabia, but does not even terminate diplomatic relations with that country. On the contrary, then-Crown Prince Abdallah, the creator (together with the new Saudi ambassador to the United States, former Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Father of 9/11, Prince Turki al-Feisal) of al-Qa’ida, is immediately invited to Bush’s ranch as a honored guest, and Bush tells him, « You are our ally in the War on Terror »! Can one image FDR inviting Hitler to the United States and telling him, « You are our ally in the war against Fascism in Europe »? Something very similar happened after 9/11. As a matter of fact, the Saudis supported Bush’s electoral campaign for his first term in office, and asked him in exchange to be the first U.S. President to promote the creation of a Palestinian State. Once he was elected, Bush refused to abide by the agreement, and the consequence was 9/11. « We paid for your election, and now you must do want we want from you », this was the message behind the 9/11 attack. Bush immediately started doing what the Saudis wanted from him: compelling Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in order to permit the creation of a PLO state. Western media speak of a « Road Map, » while Arab media call it by its real name: « Abdallah’s Plan. » One hears about a U.S. President who allegedly leads a « War on Terror » and promotes the spread of « democracy » and « freedom » in the Islamic world, but the reality shows a U.S. president who — after a Saudi terror attack against the U.S. — abides by a Saudi diktat, hides the role of the Saudi regime behind al-Qa’ida and wants Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, cut to pieces to facilitate the creation of another dictatorial regime, lead by Arafat deputy Abu Mazen, the terrorist who organized the mass murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Theoretically, Bush proclaims his intention to punish terror and to spread democracy, but the Road Map is the exact opposite of all this: it means punishing the victims of terror and rewarding terrorists, compelling democracy to withdraw in order to create a new dictatorial Arab regime. For the U.S. there is only one single trustworthy ally in the entire Middle East: Israel. Now Bush is punishing America’s ally Israel to reward those who heartily supported « our brother Saddam », those who demonstrate by burning Stars and Strips flags and those who call America « the imperialist power controlled by Zionism ». In doing so, Bush seriously risks becoming the most anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish President in the history of the U.S. Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi (Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community)
The failure of the Ottoman Empire to maintain and reform its financial and political policies in the face of changes in the international order in the nineteenth century led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and was capped by its calamitous decision to ally itself with Germany in the First World War, when the Empire was ultimately consigned to oblivion. Some Muslims confronted modern challenges to traditional Islam by focusing on the distant past, the Golden Age of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Rashidun), or the Salafs, (ancestors). Those who seek to emulate these ancestors are called Salafis, and their movement is often referred to in Arabic as the Salafiyyah, and its first major ideologue was the Egyptian Rashid Rida. Despite the lack of a political consensus among Palestinian Arabs about what form of government ought to be constituted following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, officials administering the major Palestinian Islamic institutions in Jerusalem under the British Mandate to the present day have adhered to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood inspired by Rida and articulated by the Hajj Amin al-Husseini and Hassan al-Banna in the 1930s. This continuity was masked throughout the periods of Hashemite and Israeli rule as the world’s focus was on the emergence of the secular nationalist Palestinian Liberation Organization and its associated rivals. From a minority position that emerged following the First World War in the Middle East, the claim that Palestine is waqf has been widely accepted in the Muslim discourse following the failures of the secularists to win the battle against Israel by the mid-1990s.
However, taking the larger view, which includes not only the municipality of Jerusalem, but the issue of settlements and Israeli “heritage sites” in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, and the entire course of the conflict, it is not only the Jerusalem municipality or Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians which is to blame for the current impasse. The Palestinians’ continued willingness to support violent action against Israel, and their continued hope for a one state solution, has resulted, contrary to all reason, to support for HAMAS. Emboldened by its defeat of FATAH in Gaza in 2007, and backed by an extraordinarily aggressive Iran, the maximalists again are threatening to lead the Palestinian remnant to their complete destruction. All attempts to convince the Palestinians to abandon jihadist ideology have failed, despite the fact that the Arab world is ready to accommodate Israel in the current Middle Eastern state system. Recent calls for a bi-national, secular state instead of a two-state solution are distractions from the real issues at hand. Improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people, fostering the development of municipal and national government in Gaza and the West Bank, and fighting against Islamist opportunism are goals that can be achieved under the shadow of the Iranian threat. Only on the micro-level can political progress be made. The conflict has to become localized. Only by rejecting the regionalization of the political issues facing the Palestinian and Israeli conflict can the international threats on the macro-level be challenged. A paradigm shift is needed to thwart the Islamist threat to Israel. Below are concrete steps towards localizing the conflict and to reinvigorate the peace process that could break the cycle of despair now characterizing the region within the parameters of the Beillin-Abu Mazen plan of 1995. Immediate Steps Within the Realm of Realpolitik and Reason: Localize Conflict Management and Resolution 1. Establish embassies in West and East Jerusalem All states having diplomatic relations with Israel should immediately establish embassies in Israel and Palestine. Arab League states establish embassies in East and West Jerusalem. Use these embassies to kick start economic development and housing in various neighborhoods. 2. Latin Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and other Christian landowners in Palestine/Israel to cooperate by developing local community development boards. 3) UNESCO overseas restoration and preservation of Islamic monuments and archeological sites. Turkey to cooperate with Israel and Palestine with historical preservation projects. 4) Educational programs for Palestinian and Israeli students focusing on holy sites throughout the land. Educational institutions currently training tour guides to spearhead these efforts, emphasizing change and continuity over time. 5) Truth and Reconciliation commissions to document and memorialize history. Institutions of higher learning to cooperate with education ministries. 6) UNRWA to close refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Repatriate and reimburse Arab and Jewish refugees according to their wishes—return, compensation, or memorials—on a case-by-case basis. Judith Mendelsohn Rood

Attention: une abomination peut en cacher une autre !

Attaques d’écoles, attaques d’hôpitaux, massacres de femmes, massacres d’handicapés, massacres d’enfants …

Alors que ce qui devrait être la révélation ultime d’une perfidie et d’un détournement systématique (jusqu’au recours quasi-archaïque au sacrifice d’enfants !) des valeurs civilisées que l’opinion occidentale n’arrive même pas à imaginer …

Est en train de transformer sur la base d’une information tout aussi systématiquement tronquée par l’intimidation et les menaces constantes sur les journalistes

La seule véritable démocratie du Moyen-Orient en l’abomination des abominations …

Retour, avec une intéressante analyse de  Judith Mendelsohn Rood, sur le véritable programme d’une organisation …

Qui funeste et monstrueux fruit comme on le sait d’un pacte faustien entre Israël et les Saoudiens …

Se révèle être à la fois explicitement guerrière et terroriste …

Et maximaliste et totalitariste …

Ne réclamant rien de moins, au-delà de quelques trêves purement tactiques, que la suppression pure et simple de toute présence juive en Palestine …

HAMAS in the Context of the Historic Islamicization of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Judith Mendelsohn Rood

Academia

Judith Mendelsohn Rood, Ph.D. Department of History, Government, and Social Science Biola University

Abstract: Secular Palestinian nationalists and scholars have studied the emergence of the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, but few have paid attention to its characterization of Palestine as an Islamic waqf. Following Hamas’ successful ousting of Fatah from Gaza in 2006, Hamas has been gaining the upper hand in the West Bank and Jerusalem as well because of its continuation of armed resistance against Israel. Hamas’ political success must be understood as a success of the Muslim Brotherhood to repudiate the secular nationalist Palestinian movement. Should HAMAS’s position on land tenure in the Palestinian Authority, defined by the unfounded claim that all land in Palestine is waqf, new problems arise for the development of the secular Palestinian state and is already posing problems for individual municipalities on the West Bank. The ideologically driven Israeli policy in Jerusalem is again matched by ideological Islamist agenda. Introduction Palestinian scholar Nur Masalha has characterized HAMAS’s claim that Palestine is an Islamic waqf as “the main innovative idea” that the Islamic Resistance Movement has contributed to the Arab-Israel Conflict. However, to the contrary, the claim that all Palestine is waqf  has been the official position of the Muslim Palestinian political establishment since before the days of the British Mandate. This claim, however, does not fit with the theory or practice of Islamic land tenure during any other period in Muslim history.

I first presented a version of this paper on July 31, 2008 at William Carey International University. In July 2009 and March 2010 I interviewed a number of Bethlehem area residents about land tenure issues facing their municipalities. I wish to thank them for their insights and their help, but, because of the sensitivity of these situations, I will have to let them remain anonymous. Any mistakes are my own and no one else is responsible for them. I welcome comments and corrections: judith.rood@biola.edu.

The HAMAS charter refers to the land of Palestine as “waqf ” that is, set aside as an eternal charitable endowment for the Muslim community. This is exactly the concept that the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini, used to oppose the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine at the time of the British Mandate, a policy that directly led to the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948. Thus, the HAMAS position that the land of Palestine is an irrevocable waqf is the same position held by the mufti  during the Mandate Period to outlaw Palestinian land sales to Jews, by the Jordanians from 1947-1967, by Palestinian secular nationalist groups, and by the Palestinian Authority today. Land sales to Jews are still defined as treason, and accused collaborators are punishable by death, a penalty often imposed extrajudicially. Moreover, this was the position of the Muslim effendiyat  (elite) of Jerusalem in the 19th century (they actually recognized that all of Palestine was not waqf, but consisted mostly of military land grants). The Ottoman authorities explicitly rejected their claim before the rise of political Zionism in order to encourage the growth of commerce in the region of Jerusalem. However, now that HAMAS has become the Islamic Republic of Iran’s newest proxy, the claim is more dangerous than ever before. In this article, we will dissect the issue by defining the geographical, legal, and economic meanings of the terms used by HAMAS in order to disprove them strictly on the grounds of Islamic law and government during the Ottoman period. The 1988 Hamas Charter asserts in Article 11: The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgment Day?

The failure of the Ottoman Empire to maintain and reform its financial and political policies in the face of changes in the international order in the nineteenth century led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 and was capped by its calamitous decision to ally itself with Germany in the First World War, when the Empire was ultimately consigned to oblivion. Some Muslims confronted modern challenges to traditional Islam by focusing on the distant past, the Golden Age of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Rashidun), or the Salafs, (ancestors). Those who seek to emulate these ancestors are called Salafis, and their movement is often referred to in Arabic as the Salafiyyah, and its first major ideologue was the Egyptian Rashid Rida. Despite the lack of a political consensus among Palestinian Arabs about what form of government ought to be constituted following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, officials administering the major Palestinian Islamic institutions in Jerusalem under the British Mandate to the present day have adhered to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood inspired by Rida and articulated by the Hajj Amin al-Husseini and Hassan al-Banna in the 1930s. This continuity was masked throughout the periods of Hashemite and Israeli rule as the world’s focus was on the emergence of the secular nationalist Palestinian Liberation Organization and its associated rivals. From a minority position that emerged following the First World War in the Middle East, the claim that Palestine is waqf  has been widely accepted  in the Muslim discourse following the failures of the secularists to win the battle against Israel by the mid-1990s.

The Muslim link to Palestine is through Jerusalem, based upon the identity of the Dome of the Rock with the Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven of Muhammad, described in the Quran as happening only at the indeterminate “Furthest Mosque,” which traditionally has been identified with Jerusalem. The reason for the journey to the “Furthest Mosque” was for Muhammad to ascend to heaven to meet with Moses and the biblical prophets on the site of the Temple, where the
Sakinah (Arabic) or Shechina (Hebrew), (the Glory of God) had once rested. To the consternation of well-educated Muslims worldwide, officials in charge of the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem serving the Palestinian National Authority, established May 4, 1994, took the position of HAMAS even further, stating that the Temple of Solomon itself was not located in Jerusalem. Ikramah Sabri, the then mufti  of Jerusalem, said that “There is no evidence that Solomon’s Temple was in Jerusalem; probably it was in Bethlehem or in some other place.”

He was also quoted as saying: « There is not [even] the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on this place in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history. » This  assertion was made despite the existence of a well-known pamphlet for tourists published in 1935 by the Islamic authorities themselves, pointing out that it is “beyond dispute” that the Dome of the Rock sits on the site of Solomon’s Temple. The issue was so provocative that the Shaykh of Al-Azhar, the head of Islam’s most venerable and greatest religious university, in an article entitled “Does Solomon’s Temple Exist Under the Current Al-Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem?” published in Al-Ahram, November 2, 2000, felt compelled to explain its importance to his people. Yasser Arafat echoed this claim repeatedly until his death, and FATAH officials have continued to do so to this day, in total agreement with HAMAS, in order to deny any Jewish claims to the holy site. In July, 2009 Avi Diskin, head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), told the Israeli cabinet that “Egyptian cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood « had allocated some $25 million for the purchase of property and to build Hamas charitable institutions that would expand the group’s reach in Jerusalem. » This activity points to the importance of properly understanding the evidence in the Islamic law records relating to the historic role of the Islamic institutions in administering Islamic awaqf in practical and political terms in order to prove that such claims cannot be substantiated according to Islamic law.

I. The Conquest of the Arab Provinces and Ottoman Empire Land Tenure

According to Hamas’ charter, the Islamic claim to eternal sovereignty over “Palestine” resides in the very fact of the Islamic conquest. This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgment. It happened like this: When the leaders of the Islamic armies conquered Syria and Iraq, they sent to the Caliph of the Moslems, Umar bin-el-Khatab, asking for his advice concerning the conquered land – whether they should divide it among the soldiers, or leave it for its owners, or what? After consultations and discussions between the Caliph of the Moslems, Omar bin-el-Khatab and companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, it was decided that the land should be left with its owners who could benefit by its fruit. As for the real ownership of the land and the land itself, it should be consecrated for Moslem generations till Judgment Day. Those who are on the land, are there only to benefit from its fruit. This Waqf remains as long as earth and heaven remain. Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void. This understanding, however, is incorrect and cannot be justified according to Islamic law as it was practiced “in Palestine” under the Ottomans, and before them the Mamluks and the Ayyubids, stretching back to the conquests of Salah al-Din in 1187 and even to the peaceful submission to the third Caliph, Umar, of Jerusalem in 636 by the Patriarch Sophronious. One of the hallmarks of Salafi teaching, which is at the heart of the Muslim Brotherhood, is that since the previous regimes which have ruled the Muslim world were not truly Islamic, the history of their governance and laws cannot be held to have correctly followed the Shariah, and therefore cannot be used to determine proper Islamic policies. This willful amnesia was repudiated by the Ottomans during the Wahhabist rebellions in Arabia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but since the end of the First World War there has been no Muslim authority powerful enough to challenge the Salafists today, as we have learned since 9/11.

The Ottomans followed a well-articulated Sunni system of imperial land tenure based on the Levitical concept that asserts that God is the owner of the land, and the state and its subjects are but its possessors, who are to use of it justly for the benefit of its subjects. As such, the sovereign had the right to dispose of the land—to utilize it for its peoples’ benefit—as he saw fit within the administrative laws of the empire. The right of usufruct, as the scholars name it, is earned by properly using the property—keeping it productive—and ensuring that the state can tax its produce so that it will be able to sustain the safety and prosperity of its subjects. The root of Ottoman identification of Jerusalem with Mecca and Medina lay both in their status as the three holy cities of Islam and in their juridical status following the original Muslim conquest of Syria. At an assembly in the Syrian military camp at Jabiya in 637, the Caliph ‘Umar declared the lands which surrendered unconditionally to his armies as fay, (lands that would pay tribute to the central government, and which were to be held as a perpetual trust for all Muslims). Thus, Syria and Iraq were regarded as lands subject to the kharaj  (land tax assessed upon non-Muslim landholders). According to the Jabiya agreement, revenue from the conquered territories was to be collected and given to the central government, and those who had participated in the campaigns of expansion would be enrolled in the diwan  (imperial) registers. Those so enrolled would be entitled to fixed stipends and land grants. The lands were thus not divided and parceled out among the military, but instead were controlled directly by the central government. Muslims would not settle these lands and pay the ushr (land tax assessed on Muslim proprietors, i.e., the tithe): rather, the original inhabitants would remain on their property, but would pay the kharaj. Under Islamic law, fay lands were thus held by the state, but its use was left in the possession of their inhabitants, who paid tribute from the revenues of the land to the central treasury of the state. Over the course of time the population increasingly became Muslim. The distinction between Hijazi and Syrian Muslims blurred, and the Muslims of Syria began, in effect, to pay the kharaj  along with the non-Muslims because they lived on conquered lands worked by non-Muslims. When the Mamluk territories, encompassing the later Ottoman provinces of Sidon, Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Tripoli (Libyan), Bengazi, the Hijaz, and Yemen, were conquered by the Ottomans, they were exempted from paying the normal miri  (imperial land) taxes because of their status as kharaj  land, unlike the Hijaz and Basra, which were categorizied as provinces paying the ushr  tax.

The Ottomans, after their conquest of the Arab provinces and the creation of the Eyalet (Province) of Damascus during the years 1517-1520, recognized existing practices regarding the taxation of arable land in the Province of Damascus. In keeping with the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, upon their conquest of the Arab provinces, the Ottomans declared these conquered territories as belonging to the bayt mal al-muslimin  (the common treasury of the state), to be used for the benefit of all Muslims, and by extension, the dhimmis, or protected minorities living among them. As such, under the Ottomans, the conquered lands of Syria continued to be considered kharaj  lands whose usufruct could be granted or leased out in the name of the bayt al-mal  by the Sultan as imam (leader), of the Muslim community. The Ottomans organized the systems administering awqaf, timars  (military land grants), and iltizams/malikanes (tax farms) on the varying types of land that they conquered. The Ottomans also had a well-articulated system for administering trade, and all other forms of production and property, based upon the sixteenth century Siyasetname  (Administrative Law Code) of Sulayman the Magnificent. Devised by the brilliant Ebu Su’ud Effendi, the Shaykh al-Islam  (Chief Jurisconsult of the Empire) based upon the Shari’ah and the Qanun (administrative law), this code stipulated that land could be disposed of (in the legal sense of disposition or use) in three ways: it could be assigned as a grant in return for military service, it could be leased directly to cultivators, or it could be held in perpetual trust for the Muslim subjects of the empire as waqf. Many parcels of land throughout the Ottoman Empire’s Arab provinces were divided and subdivided into fractions, some of which were assigned as military estates and some of which were assigned as waqf, while other portions may have been private property or shared pasture land. The land tenure system was designed to prevent the permanent alienation of land from the state, with one single exception: the assignment of land by the Sultan to an individual as milk (private property). This property always would revert ultimately to the state upon the death of the owner and his descendants. During much of the Ottoman period, the city of Jerusalem was administered as a part of the Province of Damascus following the pattern of the classical timar  system—some land in Jerusalem’s hinterlands was granted to military officers in return for their service to the Sultan. Other lands, recognized as property held as waqf  by the Greek Orthodox Church (and a few others as well) under previous Muslim dynasties (the Ayyubids and the Mamluks), were integrated into the Ottoman administration. The city was the capital of the sanjaq  of Jabal al-Quds  (the administrative district of the mountains of Jerusalem). Other sanjaqs  of the southern part of the Provinces of Sidon and Damascus—Jabal Nablus, Gaza, Jaffa, Ramla, Lydda, Acre, Hebron, Sidon, Jenin, Tulkarem, Karak—were all tied to Jerusalem through the legal system, evidenced by documents regarding cases from these towns scattered throughout the Ottoman Islamic court registers. The sanjaq  of Jerusalem and the mountainous lands of the sanjaq of Nablus (Jabal Nablus) were distinguished geographically from what is called in the court registers « the land of Palestine » (ard filastin) encompassing the towns of Gaza, Ramla, and Lydda (Lod).

This distinction tallies with the description of Palestine given by Volney in the late eighteenth century, who described it as a geographical unit including all of the land « between theMediterranean to the West and the chain of mountains to the East, and two lines, one drawnto the South, by Khan Younes, and the other to the North, between Kaisaria [Caesarea] andthe rivulet of Yafa [Jaffa]. » He noted that Palestine was « almost entirely a level plain, without either river or rivulet in summer, but watered by several torrents in winter » and thatit was « a district independent of every pashalic [sanjaq ], » which occasionally had « governorsof its own, who reside at Gaza under the title of Pashas; but it is usually, as at present,divided into three appanages, or melkana, viz. Yafa, Loudd [Lydda/Lod] and Gaza.” Thus, the term ard filastin, « the land of Palestine, » was used during the Ottoman period to refer specifically to a geographical area in agricultural use and divided into taxfarms, whether administered as independent sanjaqs or attached to adjacent sanjaqsHistorically this land was controlled directly by the central government in Istanbul by leasing it to Ottoman officers. In the period before the invasion, ‘Abdullah Pasha, governor of Sidon, obtained the lease. The important point here is that a significant portion of the richagricultural lands identified in the Islamic court records dating from the Ottoman period as“Palestine” were not attached to the imperial awqaf of Jerusalem, and thus were not administered by the notables of the city representing the Ottoman government, but directlyby the Ottoman government in Istanbul. To the south lay Hebron, sometimes nominally apart of the sanjaq of Jerusalem, but in fact a rebellious and nearly autonomous town with apowerful and militant leadership of its own.In Jerusalem, the Ottomans administered Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of theRock together with the Waqf of the Two Noble Sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina (al- Haramayn al-Sharifayn ). This admininstrative feature explains the relative unimportance of Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire. Since the three cities were organized for purposes ofrevenue as one institution, and since the Ottomans placed a higher degree of importance on Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem was overshadowed in an institutional sense. Nevertheless, its rank as the third holiest city did confer status and important privileges to the ulama (learned authorities) who served as administrators of the imperial awqaf  there. One of the most important posts in the city was the shaykh al-haram, (the superintendent of the Dome of theRock and Al-Aqsa). Moreover, al-Aqsa had its own waqf, as did other mosques, tombs,schools, hospices, etc., which received revenues from many shops, agricultural lands, andother income-producing urban and rural properties throughout Bilad al-Sham which were dedicated and assigned to them. In the sixteenth century, the wife of Sulayman the Magnificent, originally a Christian from somewhere in the Russian Empire, endowed the Khasseki Sultan imaret (foundation, waqf ) with Greek Orthodox church properties in the vicinity of Bethlehem, Lydda andRamla. The Palestinian National Authority still recognizes this fact, and the Christian tenantsand sharecroppers who have resided on these lands still are not the legal landowners. Thefinancial support of the Holy Cities, and the annual hajj pilgrimage, obviously were not solelya Palestinian responsibility. Financial obligations were imposed not only on towns and villages in the administrative districts of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Hebron, but also on othercities throughout the empire, including Damascus, Aleppo and cities in Anatolia and theBalkans. The Waqf of Sayyidna Ibrahim al-Khalil (Abraham, the Beloved Friend of God, as heis known to Muslims) located in Hebron, and known in the West as the Tomb of thePatriarchs, held claim to the revenues of many southern Palestinian villages and agriculturallands and was administered as a part of the other important imperial awqaf. Peasants livingon lands dedicated to the support of these awqaf were among those exempted from paying the miri (imperial land tax, or kharaj )—instead, they paid to support the Hajj and theHaramayn awqaf. For example, taxes (payable in kind) were assessed on land held as awqaf by the Greek Orthodox church in Bethlehem and its neighboring villages throughout thedistrict of Jerusalem. Such lands—and this means most of the arable lands in Bethlehem, for example— are still categorized in this manner to this day. This fact has the Christians livingin these regions are literally caught between a rock and a hard place today—their village lands are still categorized as waqf with double ownership: the Greek Orthodox Church, which is the owner of the use of the property and the property itself, and the KhassekiSultan Waqf, which claims a share of the produce of the land. This complicated situation hasallowed the Israelis to confiscate what they call abandoned state lands in the West Bank, which in the past were administered by the Porte, and by Hamas, which now claims allproperty is waqf, belonging to the Muslim community.

The sharecroppers and tenants who worked these lands never received the “tapu” registration required for private land under the Ottoman Land Law of 1858 because these lands were waqf. Moreover, unworked land lapsed after three years into the category of mawat, (waste lands), which the Israelis also claim to have the right to confiscate, as againstthe HAMAS claim that all land in Palestine belongs to the Muslim community as waqf, no matter its condition. Under Ottoman law, to the contrary, a tenant who brought dead landsinto cultivation could claim it as mulk, or freehold land. And if there was a time of politicalinstability, peasants could leave the region until calm was restored within three years withoutlosing their claim to land that they had improved. None of these laws is still in effect today.Some two-thirds of the actual sum of the jizya (per capital poll tax on non-Muslim dhimmis ) revenues collected in the district of Jerusalem in the first half of the nineteenth century ended up in the hands of the provincial governor of Damascus, who at the time also served as the amir al ! hajj, the commander of the hajj caravan from that city. It followed thatthe Porte would entrust this official with the collection and disbursement of the  jizya. Inother words, under the Ottomans, taxes paid by Jews and Christians in Jerusalem and itsenvirons actually were sent outside of their territories to support the pilgrimage caravan tothe Muslim Holy Cities in the Hijaz and the Haramayn Waqf  Jerusalem, governed within the framework of Ottoman provincial administration,derived its status, then, from Muslim land law, but was not identified with Palestine underOttoman rule. During the period of Sultan Mahmud II’s reforms in the 1820s, theOttomans explicitly identified the Muslim sanctuary in the city of Jerusalem, and itsimportant imperial awqaf, with the exempted Sharifate (the Office of the Descendants of theProphet) of Mecca and Medina (known to the Ottomans and other Muslims as the Haramayn (the Two Sanctuaries). Unlike current Palestinian usage of the term, during the Ottoman period « haramayn  » did not refer to the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, or to thebuildings of the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem and the Tomb of Ibrahim al-Khalil (Cave ofMachpelah) in Hebron, each of which had their own awqaf in addition to becoming attached to the Haramayn waqf during the centralization of religious institutions under a new ministryby the Ottomans in the nineteenth century. The term traditionally had a specific meaning to Muslims, including the Ottomans: itreferred only to the Holy Cities of the Hijaz. Jerusalem was called « thalith al-haramayn, » (the third after the Two Holy Places). When, near the end of his life in 1566, Sulayman theMagnificent dedicated additional revenues and produce from throughout Bilad al-Sham (theSyrian Provinces of the Ottoman Empire) in support of the Khasseki Sultan Waqf (The Endowment of His Beloved Wife), for example, one of the titles he used to describe himself was « khadim al-Haramayn  » “Servant of the Two Holy Cities,” referring to the Holy Cities of  Mecca and Medina.

Indeed, this relationship was manifested in the special fiscal relationship of Jerusalem with the Haramayn that was central to Ottoman administration of the city, particularly during the reform period of Mahmud II, all the way up to the Turkish defeat in the First World War in 1917 and the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate on March 3, 1924. Therefore, what was actually “waqf” were some lands scattered, throughout the empire: some of which belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church, which had to pay the jizya and kharaj taxes on lands it leased to peasants to work. These individuals had to pay taxes, including a land tax as a portion of the produce to support the waqf which funded the Hajj Pilgrimage and the four Muslim sanctuaries of Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Hebron. “Palestine” therefore was most definitely NOT a waqf under Islamic or Ottoman law. It was governed completely separately under the military land grant system and its lands were leased as iltizam/malikane (tax-farms).

II. Awqaf Under Ottoman Control

Under Islamic law, a waqf is a legal entity, comprising land or property whose revenues are set aside to benefit the entire Muslim community and its non-Muslim inhabitants who were considered as having joined the ummah by agreeing to accept Islamic rule. It has long been thought that this stipulation meant that such trusts were endowed for charitable purposes, and that it was the charitable purpose of such awqaf which made them valid and sound under Islamic and Ottoman law. However, that is not the case. A valid Islamic waqf, the waqf sahih, came to mean an endowment that is made from lands that pay the ushr or kharaj tax. The meaning of the waqf in the Ottoman context is that such lands can never be permanently alienated from the central treasury of the Islamic state— bayt mal al- muslimin. Property and land so endowed thus became in essence inalienable, removed from legal transfer, as church property is in the West. Since the ownership of such property ultimately belongs to God, only the use of the property, and the produce and revenues that it yields can be allotted to the beneficiaries of the waqf. The logic of this arrangement is based on the Islamic notion of the common good of the people residing in a just state, whose resources are exploited and protected for the benefit of all Muslims. In the mid-1820s, Sultan Mahmud II began to implement reforms in waqf administration throughout the empire. He sought to reassert direct state control over all awqaf in the empire, based upon the formal recognition of the previously uncodified, but inherent distinction between canonically valid and invalid awqaf. This distinction was always inherent in the Ottoman system: Mahmud formalized it in order to reassert control of all miri—state lands in the empire. From this period onward, under Ottoman law, there were two officially recognized forms of awqaf: waqf sahih (the valid waqf) and the waqf ghayr sahih (invalid waqf). Valid awqaf were made from lands paying the kharaj and the ushr, and thus were located in Syria, Iraq, and the Hijaz. Invalid endowments, however, reassigned revenues due to the treasury ostensibly for some religious or charitable purpose or a specific purpose by which awqaf could legitimately be established. There were three types of the « invalid » awqaf accepted by the Ottomans until 1825. The first type allowed the revenues of land to be made waqf, while the substance of the land, and its right of use and possession, were kept by the treasury; the second, the right of use is given as waqf, while the substance and revenues remain with the treasury; and the third type assigned both possession and revenue to the waqf, while the substance remains with the treasury. Under Ottoman administrative law after 1826, all awqaf not falling under the category of sahih were deemed invalid, since they were established upon land that had been alienated at some point from imperial lands. It is often thought that charitable and religious trusts were valid because they were established for ostensibly religious or charitable purposes. However, this is a misplaced assumption that has caused great confusion in the interpretation of the institution of the waqf in the Ottoman period. What is important is not the purpose of the waqf, nor the type of possession, but the nature of the land in the Ottoman system of land tenure. These reforms reiterated that the lands of Syria, including the sanjaq of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Sidon were not waqf.

That this was the clear situation is the Ottoman response to a request made on 28 May 28, 1837 recorded in the registers of the Islamic court in Jerusalem. The governing council (majlis) of Jerusalem asserted in a petition asking the Sultan to bar a group of Ashkenazi Jews from conducting trade in the city because “the lands of this region are miri and waqf.” The Muslim authorities of the city clearly understood that the land in the region was state land, and that some of it had been set aside as waqf. This request the Porte denied. Indeed, in other cases, the Porte ruled that foreigners could purchase waqf property in order to restore it to productivity and usefulness. When the Ottoman Empire disintegrated and the Turks surrendered and withdrew from its Arab provinces, the Muslim community no longer had a Muslim sovereign whose legitimacy they accepted as the ultimate authority to decide political questions. When the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, the problem of sovereignty thus became the basic political issue facing Muslims: should Islamic control be restored over the former Arab provinces, and if so, how should it be constituted? The Turkish defeat led to the de facto separation of the Palestinian, Syrian and Hijazi elements of the Haramayn Waqf. Thereafter, the term in Palestinian usage came to mean first, Jerusalem and Hebron, referring to the two sanctuaries—Al-Aqsa and Sayyidna Khalil. After 1948, when Hebron went under Hashemite sovereignty, the term “Haramayn” came to refer to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

III. Enter The Muslim Brotherhood 
The Muslim Brotherhood is a modern ideological movement that was founded inEgypt in 1928. Ideologically it was shaped by the anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism inEgypt and the Middle East generally, and by the Arab-Jewish conflict in mandatory Palestine specifically. The Muslim Brotherhood has long been the most important of the Sunniopposition groups in the Arab world. Its aim is to reestablish the Caliphate and to governaccording to the Shariah. While legal in Transjordan and then Jordan, it has been banned inEgypt and Syria, where it threatens to overthrow the current regimes. Violent splintergroups of the Brotherhood have arisen worldwide. Rashid Rida, Hassan al-Banna, andSayyid Qutb are the chief ideologues of the movement. They sought to create a vanguard tooppose the secularization of Islamic society, which they thought was accelerated through theintroduction of imperialism, capitalism, Zionism, socialism, and communism in the periodleading up to the First World War. The Salafi Movement, and therefore the Muslim Brotherhood rejects all Muslimregimes since the death of ‘Ali as illegitimate and un-Islamic, and of all of these, considersthe Ottoman Empire the most illegitimate. The Wahhabi doctrine has been at the heart ofSaudi Arabian identity since its first irruption in 1740 when they rejected the legitimacy ofthe Ottoman Empire. The Arabs remember Turkish rule as a time of oppression andsubjugation. Arab nationalist animosity regarding the historic legacy of the Ottomans burnshot to this day: from this perspective, the Ottoman defeat was at once a judgment on the Turks and a challenge to the Arabs, who struggled between the various ideological options available to them in the period between the world wars and thereafter. The entire twentiethcentury framed the failures of all of their ideological movements to solve the politicaldilemmas posed to the Arabs by the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Saudis and the Hashemite Jordanians competed for most of the last centuryover which dynasty could legitimately claim to be the rightful guardian of the Islamic HolyCities: Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. The impact of this competition was to furtherfragment the Arab Muslim political consensus over the fate of the lands entrusted by theLeague of Nations to the British in the form of a mandate to govern the region until itsinhabitants were ready for self-governance. When King Hussein ultimately relinquished hisclaims to the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1988, leaving the PLO to administer their Islamicinstitutions, Yasser Arafat actually had to make dual appointments of key Islamic positions.Both Jordanian- and Saudi-approved officials initially served the Palestinian National Authority, since the PLO needed to assuage both powers in order to continue to receivetheir financial—and political support. Only when it became clear that Arafat had thrown inhis lot with the Iranians during the Karina incident in the midst of the Al-Aqsa Intifada didboth Saudi Arabia and Jordan abandon the PA. Since Arafat’s death, both Saudi Arabia and Jordan have been cooperating with the PA in order to attempt to rein in HAMAS and keep Iran out. They have not succeeded.
IV. The Islamicization of the Palestinian Resistance 
The British, who invented a status quo in Palestine by creating de novo an Islamic administration in Palestine by placing in the office of the “mufti” Hajj Amin al-Hussayni, who engineered the policies that generated the dominant, and most radical, Arab response toZionism. His fingerprints are all over the Islamic administration in Jerusalem even today. The fact that the mufti’s religious polemic led to the Nakba, the catastrophic Arab defeat in 1948, was precisely the reason that the Palestinian liberation movement reframed its opposition to Israel in terms of secular Arab nationalism. The Islamicization of the Palestinian resistance to Zionism began with the British creation of the office of “Grand Mufti” in 1918 and the appointment of Hajj Amin as muftiin 1922. Traditionally, a mufti is a religious authority, or jurisconsult, who issues decisionsrelating to Islamic law. Under the British Mandate, for the first time the mufti became thehighest Muslim official in Palestine. He was also named president of the newly createdSupreme Muslim Council, becoming the officially recognized religious and political leader ofthe Palestinian Arabs. The fact that the mufti and his policies were opposed by the majorityof the Palestinian Arabs for many different reasons, including those who took exception to his interpretation of Islam and Zionism, has emerged in Palestinian and Zionist historiography only recently. Hajj Amin, whose influence on Palestinian political culture remains profound to thisday, was deeply influenced by Rashid Rida, the leading Islamist teacher when he was a youngman. As a soldier in the Ottoman army he was stationed in Smyrna where he witnessed the Turkish extermination of the Armenians, an event that left him deeply impressed by Turkishracial nationalism. He traveled to Damascus to support Faisal, who had declared an Arabstate in Syria only to be expelled by France. On Amin’s return to Palestine in 1921 he soonbecame involved in riots against the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration. Hebecame a fugitive from British justice for his radical politics, but then was neverthelesspardoned, and placed in control of all former Ottoman awqaf properties and the Islamiccourt bureaucracy in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine by Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner of the British Mandate. The mufti, however, had had no Islamic religioustraining or certification as a member of the ulama, the Muslim officials trained and authorized to make religious decisions in the Islamic world. At first, the mufti may have been hopeful that the British would treat the Arabs in Palestine fairly. While he was working on building an Arab Islamic university in the Mamilla district in West Jerusalem adjacent to the site of a Muslim cemetery in the late ‘20s, he worked with Jewish architects and construction crews to build the Palace Hotel, which he envisioned as a business whose profits would fund the university. The cemetery actually extended further than was then known, as the builders discovered when they began excavating to lay the foundation of the new hotel. The mufti sought to change the purpose of the waqf, endowed by Salah al-Din after his siege of the city in 1187 in order to build the campus, including the hotel. Thus, despite the fact that he worked closely with Jews while he was leading the Arab Higher Committee’s building program, early on his attitude towards them changed. He also rejected and dissolved the secular-nationalist Moslem-Christian Associations and began emphasizing the idea that the Palestine was waqf   —the possession of the Muslim ummah in perpetuity. In the absence of Muslim sovereignty during the Mandate, he merged the idea of waqf, the kind of property that the Muslim authorities had administered before 1917, with the idea of state land (timar), a factor in 1837 but no longer.

Amin began collaborating with Hassan al-Banna, considered the father of the MuslimBrotherhood, in 1935. The mufti thus articulated the idea that Palestine itself is a “waqf” sometime between 1929, when the Palace Hotel opened, and 1935, when they founded theMuslim Brotherhood in support of the Arab Higher Committee’s opposition to Zionism. Hajj Amin was able to rally a force of about two thousand Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood volunteers who fought in the Negev against the nascent Israeli state, and to field a Palestinian militia under the leadership of Qassam al-Ahmad, who was killed at Qastel and who has become the eponymous inspiration for the armed brigade of Hamas today. Following the Mandate Period, the administration of Muslim institutions in Palestine shifted to the Transjordanian Ministry of Religious Foundations. Transjordan had de facto sovereignty over al-Haram al-Sharif  (aka the Temple Mount) and paid the salaries of the Muslim officials employed in the Islamic court. The Muslim Brotherhood became the channel for Salafi ideas during this time. Outlawed for decades in Egypt and Syria, after1948 clandestine cells operated in Muslim towns and villages in the West Bank and Gaza under Jordanian rule, even when the cells in Egypt and Syria were practically wiped out. However, as a result of the 1948 war, Transjordan took possession of the Temple Mount and the administration of waqf properties and the Islamic courts in the West Bank as protector and guardian of the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem and Haram al-Khalil in Hebron in 1950. Thus the Hashemite dynasty administered the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem until1988, when King Hussein relinquished his sovereign claim to the Palestinian National Authority. In 1964, President Gamal abd al-Nasser, Egypt, created the Palestinian Liberation Organization to fight a guerilla war against Israel. The PLO’s Muslim leadership included 

members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the majority were secular nationalists, many of whom were nominal Christians. For the next thirty years, the PLO waged battle ostensibly with the support of the majority of all Palestinians, and, although the corruption and authoritarian nature of Arafat’s rule became well-known, they were willing to overlook his flaws in order to present a unified front against Israel, to share in his increasing power and international status, and to hold onto some sense of dignity. Egypt took over the Gaza Stripin 1948 using what Nasser claimed was the “State of Palestine” to infiltrate groups of Palestinian fighters into Israel until his ignominious defeat in 1967. In the 1970s and early 80s, Israel permitted Saudi Arabia to fund an alternative group of Muslim administrators and officials, which eventually led to the establishment of the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, as the Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

 HAMAS emerged as an alternative to the failed policies of the Palestinian LiberationOrganization, FATAH in the late 1980s. For the employees of the court, like manyPalestinian Muslims, many of whom were sympathetic to, if not members of the MuslimBrotherhood, this was an exciting development, an opportunity for those who had remainedunder Israeli occupation to regain some of the power that the “outsiders” –the PLO—hadasserted over them, the “insiders” who had steadfastly endured under the Israeli“occupation.” Discussions surrounding the disposition of Saudi Arabian charity from the PLO via SAMED—the “Steadfastness Fund” which provided social services to the Palestinian poor, widows, and orphans, and the sick—to the nascent HAMAS organization were intense. SAMED: Palestinian Martyrs Works Society – established in 1970 to provide vocational training to the children of Palestinian martyrs; played an important role – in the1970s and 1980s, and especially during the First Intifada – in the economic and social welfare infrastructure of the Palestinian communities. The emergence of HAMAS in the mid-1980s resulted from a Faustian bargain the Israelis made with the Saudis, allowing them to build mosques and provide social servicesthrough funds and personnel as a counterbalance to the PLO. Some people even suspectthat an Israeli agent helped to name the movement—pronounced in Hebrew as “

KHamas,” which means “terror” –to make the message clear. Dividing the Palestinians along ideological lines certainly has been advantageous to those Israelis and Palestinians who oppose negotiating a settlement. The homicide bombings and their inevitable reprisals have made Palestinians and Israelis pay a heavy price for this political decision. The resulting polarization has hastened the re-Islamicization of Palestinian society. It has also prevented the PLO from achieving any tangible political goals and reignited virulent anti-Semitism.Popular Palestinian frustration with the corrupt and ineffective PLO, exiled into seeming oblivion in Tunis in 1982, particularly in the years before the First Intifada of the Stones (1987-2002), enabled HAMAS to emerge in 1986 as the most robust political rival to the PLO.

On July 28, 1988 King Hussein of Jordan relinquished the Hashemite claim to Jerusalem, as well as the right to govern the West Bank or the Palestinians. The Islamic court employees were now to be paid by the PLO, preparing the way for the Palestinian National Authority, led by the PLO, to take over the administration of Islamic institutions in Jerusalem. Weakened by the war in Lebanon, its Tunisian exile, and the fall of the SovietUnion in 1989 the PLO committed itself to the peace process just as HAMAS began to emerge as a political force. Meanwhile, during the Iraq War of 1990, Arafat had thrown his support behind Saddam Hussein, thereby incurring the wrath of Saudi Arabia. After a short period of time, during which there were two parallel groups of Muslim officials in the PNA, one Jordanian-trained and one Saudi-trained, the Palestinians chose the Saudis in order to placate them. These developments solidified the position of HAMAS in Palestinian Islamic institutions, and explain the intricate connections between FATAH/PNA and HAMAS during the al- Aqsa Intifada in the early 2000s. What the Israelis did not expect was the cooptation of the Islamists by the PLO, which lasted until the death of Arafat. The Al-Aqsa Intifada of 2000 was characterized by a vicious cycle of suicide bombings and Israeli reprisals, which, along with the corruption and tyranny of Arafat, destroyed law and order in the territories. With his passing, the time had come for HAMAS to challenge its “brother” resistance movement by leveraging Iranian support via Syria. The resulting complete breakdown of civil society in Palestine was the tragic legacy of the Oslo Peace Process. Eventually, to the horror of Palestinian moderates who supported a two-state agreement with Israel, including many members of the PLO, an overwhelming majority democratically elected HAMAS to power in Gaza January 6, 2006. Under the shadow of an increasingly belligerent Iran, a belated, and failed, Saudi attempt to forge a moderate coalition of the PLO and HAMAS was followed by the brutal expulsion of the PLO from Gaza on June 15, 2007. HAMAS is now completely under the control of Tehran, according to former Palestinian Foreign Minister Ziyad Abu Amr, the Palestinian scholar-diplomat who failed to convince HAMAS to recognize Israel and engage in diplomacy under the aegis of Saudi Arabia.

 The ideology that has driven Israeli policy in Jerusalem and the West Bank for more than four decades, especially the suppression of the emergence of municipal self-government in the Arab villages of East Jerusalem and the neglect of the Arab inhabitants in the Occupied Territories, has undermined moderate Palestinians who sought a negotiated peace. The Second Intifada resulted in the breakdown of Palestinian society, including its legal,political, and social institutions. The violence of the Israeli response has radicalized the Palestinians even more, because the deaths of many innocent victims—family members, friends, and neighbors—who now include everyone in Gaza— are indelibly imprinted inPalestinian minds. The re-Islamicization of the conflict, enabled by the belief that their only alternative is armed struggle is almost universal among both Muslim and Christian Palestinians that I spoke with during my most recent trip to Bethlehem. The first, theIntifada of the Stones, began as a non-violent tax revolt in Bethlehem soon turned violent when Islamists took control of the narrative. The catastrophic Islamist Al-Aqsa Intifada,characterized by the collaboration of the PLO with HAMAS, has just barely been quelled on the West Bank, where the PNA is achieving a semblance of law and order. However, the foreboding calls for “Days of Rage” called for by members of the Palestinian cabinet illustrate how easily the current campaign of non-violence could easily dissolve into another armed uprising. However, there is another dimension to this situation.
Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the “Nakba” (“Catastrophe”) in which 600,000 Christian and Muslim Arabs lost their homes, the Palestinian national movement was basically secular. It is still politically incorrect to focus on sectarian identities in discussing Palestinian politics, primarily because Palestinian Christians desire to be understood as in fraternal solidarity with Muslim Palestinians against Zionism. The ahistorical claim that Palestine is waqf  however, now represents a very real threat to the historically Christian communities on the West Bank and in Jerusalem. In March 2010, Palestinian activists are resurrecting the 1970s/80s concept of “sumud” (“solidarity”) to frame the third, ostensibly non-violent, “Al-Quds” (“Jerusalem”) Intifada, which has been called in the wake of Israeli settlement projects in East Jerusalem. As Asma Afsarrudin, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame has rightly asserted, …although the system of dhimma (literally, protection) extended to Jews and Christians was considered sufficiently humane in pre-Modern Muslim societies, today it would rightly be considered as plainly discriminatory and unjust within the modern state system, which defines citizenship not by faith but on the basis of birthplace and residence. This view, however, is under direct attack by HAMAS, which seeks to establish an Islamic state governed by Islamic law. Following the April 2, 2002 takeover of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem by the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade/Tanzim and the punitive Israeli attacks on that town during the duration of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the position of moderates in the West Bank became extremely tenuous. With the takeover of HAMAS in Gaza, the situation deteriorated completely. And, as Benny Morris argues, the maximalist Muslim position, that all Palestine is waqf, is at its heart the same jihadist position that has characterized Arab opposition to Israel all along.

V. Alternative Interpretations

War between Muslims and Jews is not inevitable. Muslim moderates are challenging the ideologically-driven Islamist apologetic against Israel. The most important one is Imam Abdul-Hadi Palazzi, Secretary-General of the Italian Muslim Association and Director of the Institute of the Italian Islamic Community, who has been calling for a revitalization of traditional Sunni Islam. He has taken aim at the historical amnesia of the Islamist movement.

In his response to the 2001 statement made by the mufti of Jerusalem denying Jewish ties to the Haram al-Sharif, Palazzi wrote that Sabri “is representative of those [Muslims] who repudiate “… the Jewish heritage [of Islam] as a whole, with the clear attempt even to remove it from historical memory.” Muslims are so ignorant of their own history that they are “really inclined to take these words for granted, notwithstanding the fact that they contradict both historical evidence and Islamic sources.” He argues against the Salafi claim that Palestine is an Islamic waqf by revisiting the issues surrounding the Night Journey. To remember the historical milieu compels every sincere observer to admit that there is no necessary connection between al-Miraj and sovereign rights over Jerusalem since, in the time when the Prophet… consecrated the place with his footprints on the Stone, the City was not a part of the Islamic State – whose borders were then limited to the Arabian Peninsula – but under Byzantine administration. Moreover, although radical preachers try to remove this from exegesis, the Glorious Quran expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims. We read in Surah al-Baqarah: “…They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qiblah), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other’s direction of prayer….” All Quranic annotators explain that « thy qiblah » is obviously the Kaabah of Mecca, while « their qiblah » refers to the Temple Site in Jerusalem. To quote just one of the most important of them, we read in Qadi Baydawi’s Commentary: “Verily, in their prayers Jews orientate themselves toward the Rock (al-Sakhrah), while Christians orientate themselves eastwards….” Palazzi concludes that the Quran reveals the Jewish connection with Jerusalem. As opposed to what sectarian radicals continuously claim, the Book that is a guide for those who abide by Islam—as we have just now shown—recognizes Jerusalem as Jewish direction of prayer…. After…deep reflection about the implications of this approach, it is not difficult to understand that separation in directions of prayer is a mean[s] to decrease possible rivalries in [the] management of [the] Holy Places. For those who receive from Allah the gift of equilibrium and the attitude to reconciliation, it should not be difficult to conclude that, as no one is willing to deny Muslims…complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view… there is not any sound theological reason to deny an equal right of Jews over Jerusalem. Other Muslims are challenging the HAMAS/Muslim Brotherhood’s doctrines on Israel to show that the Qur’an recognizes that God has given the Jews Jerusalem as an eternal bequest.

There is an alternative Muslim narrative regarding the Jews and the Muslims of these small settler enclaves is to proclaim Jewish superiority everywhere, while disrupting the tissue of co-existence that depends on leaving Palestinians spaces of their own. Israelis often protest Palestinian complaints that Israel really doesn’t want peace. Wahrman helps us to see why the Palestinians believe this. In every case the government and the municipality – currently run by a right-wing mayor, Nir Barkat, who seems all too eager to stoke any fire that comes his way – put forth arguments that supposedly justify the invasion. Some are legal arguments about ownership, sometimes going back eighty years (as in the case of Sheikh Jarrah) and sometimes based on a recent purchase (as in the case of the Shepherd Hotel). Some are historical arguments, mobilizing traditional Jewish associations of those particular spots – partly true, partly invented or stretched – to buttress a claim from times immemorial. But the goal, the methods, and the consequences are always the same: an intrusive encroachment into Palestinian space, eyesore houses emblazoned with Israeli flags, aggressive settlers that often seek confrontation with the neighboring Palestinians, and a permanent disruptive presence of Israeli military and police that inevitably follow the settlers. That the legal argument is but a veneer is demonstrated by the fact that ever since the incongruous high-rise intrusion into the Palestinian village of Silwan, named by the settlers “Yehonatan House,” was declared by Israeli courts illegal and due for immediate demolition, Jerusalem’s mayor has openly defied this ruling. Wahrman writes, “In terms of sheer damage to co-existence in a complicated city, therefore, twenty units in Sheikh Jarrah sow more immediate hatred than 1600 units in Ramat Shlomo.” And he is right. The propoganda value of such policies is great. Last fall, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation invited a 16-year old Muslim girl whose entire family had been evicted from their home and was now living in the street to speak at a conference on Arab-Jewish relations. They young girl described in great detail how she and her family lived their lives day-to-day, trying to go to school and work while living on the street. Anecdote upon anecdote builds up the dossier against Israel’s infringements upon the human rights of the Palestinian people.

Wahrman argues against the assertions of Ambassador Harrop and authors Chesin, Hutman and Melamed, writing, To present such aggressive acts as a continuation of the policies of Israeli governments over 43 years is simply untrue. Until recently, Israeli governments carefully avoided such conflicts, and thus allowed Jewish-Arab coexistence in the Holy City to remain surprisingly resilient in the face of many challenges during the first generation after 1967. Efforts to disrupt this pattern began by individuals and small groups, often with private American funding. Their intensification over the last decade and a half has largely flown under the radar, despite being a development with momentous consequences (much greater, say, than those of the settlement ‘outposts’ that have received so much attention). Their protestations of innocence notwithstanding, the support for this game-changing policy from Netanyahu’s government together with the zealous mayor of Jerusalem is unprecedented. Wahrman finds the current Israeli government to blame for the deterioration of Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s government is deliberately undermining this balance and rapidly changing the urban circumstances, thus rendering a compromise less and less likely. As it turns out, counter to Netanyahu’s claims, these actions are not in the Israeli vaunted “Consensus.” Even at this juncture when the left in Israel is unprecedently [sic] weak, many Israelis (42% according to a recent poll) oppose these new Israeli policies and support a complete freeze of Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The U.S. should not let manipulative rhetoric about the eternal city and 3000 years of history obfuscate the actual intersection of historical and geographic facts, nor stand in the way of the policy conclusions that must be drawn from them. However, taking the larger view, which includes not only the municipality of Jerusalem, but the issue of settlements and Israeli “heritage sites” in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, and the entire course of the conflict, it is not only the Jerusalem municipality or Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians which is to blame for the current impasse. The Palestinians’ continued willingness to support violent action against Israel, and their continued hope for a one state solution, has resulted, contrary to all reason, to support for HAMAS. Emboldened by its defeat of FATAH in Gaza in 2007, and backed by an extraordinarily aggressive Iran, the maximalists again are threatening to lead the Palestinian remnant to their complete destruction. All attempts to convince the Palestinians to abandon jihadist ideology have failed, despite the fact that the Arab world is ready to accommodate Israel in the current Middle Eastern state system.

Recent calls for a bi-national, secular state instead of a two-state solution are distractions from the real issues at hand. Improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people, fostering the development of municipal and national government in Gaza and the West Bank, and fighting against Islamist opportunism are goals that can be achieved under the shadow of the Iranian threat. Only on the micro-level can political progress be made. The conflict has to become localized. Only by rejecting the regionalization of the political issues facing the Palestinian and Israeli conflict can the international threats on the macro-level be challenged. The general squalor of the Muslim and Christian Quarters (including the Armenian Quarter) stands in contrast to the beautifully restored Jewish Quarter. The municipality should work with organizations seeking to preserve these monuments as a show of good faith before the radicals turn the city into a battleground. Perhaps Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, as part of a reconceptualized peace process, could work to restore the neglected Muslim neighborhoods and monuments of Jerusalem in a bid to fend off Hamas and Islamic Jihad as they seek to cash in on Muslim anger over this neglect. Israel and her international allies could urge UNESCO to move on Jordan’s nomination of the Old City of Jerusalem as a World Heritage site, and invite international investment in the restoration of neglected treasures. Building a few playgrounds might prevent the march to making Jerusalem a battlefield once again. In 2009, the Palestinian academic, intellectual, and cultural communities attempted to celebrate Jerusalem’s Arab identity, but Israel frustrated these of these small settler enclaves is to proclaim Jewish superiority everywhere, while disrupting the tissue of co-existence that depends on leaving Palestinians spaces of their own. Israelis often protest Palestinian complaints that Israel really doesn’t want peace. Wahrman helps us to see why the Palestinians believe this. In every case the government and the municipality – currently run by a right-wing mayor, Nir Barkat, who seems all too eager to stoke any fire that comes his way – put forth arguments that supposedly justify the invasion. Some are legal arguments about ownership, sometimes going back eighty years (as in the case of Sheikh Jarrah) and sometimes based on a recent purchase (as in the case of the Shepherd Hotel). Some are historical arguments, mobilizing traditional Jewish associations of those particular spots – partly true, partly invented or stretched – to buttress a claim from times immemorial. But the goal, the methods, and the consequences are always the same: an intrusive encroachment into Palestinian space, eyesore houses emblazoned with Israeli flags, aggressive settlers that often seek confrontation with the neighboring Palestinians, and a permanent disruptive presence of Israeli military and police that inevitably follow the settlers. That the legal argument is but a veneer is demonstrated by the fact that ever since the incongruous high-rise intrusion into the Palestinian village of Silwan, named by the settlers “Yehonatan House,” was declared by Israeli courts illegal and due for immediate demolition, Jerusalem’s mayor has openly defied this ruling. Wahrman writes, “In terms of sheer damage to co-existence in a complicated city, therefore, twenty units in Sheikh Jarrah sow more immediate hatred than 1600 units in Ramat Shlomo.” And he is right. The propoganda value of such policies is great. Last fall, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation invited a 16-year old Muslim girl whose entire family had been evicted from their home and was now living in the street to speak at a conference on Arab-Jewish relations. They young girl described in great detail how she and her family lived their lives day-to-day, trying to go to school and work while living on the street. Anecdote upon anecdote builds up the dossier against Israel’s infringements upon the human rights of the Palestinian people.

A paradigm shift is needed to thwart the Islamist threat to Israel. Below are concrete steps towards localizing the conflict and to reinvigorate the peace process that could break the cycle of despair now characterizing the region within the parameters of the Beillin-Abu Mazen plan of 1995.

Immediate Steps Within the Realm of Realpolitik and Reason: Localize Conflict Management and Resolution 1. Establish embassies in West and East Jerusalem All states having diplomatic relations with Israel should immediately establish embassies in Israel and Palestine. Arab League states establish embassies in East and West Jerusalem. Use these embassies to kick start economic development and housing in various neighborhoods. 2. Latin Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and other Christian landowners in Palestine/Israel to cooperate by developing local community development boards. 3) UNESCO overseas restoration and preservation of Islamic monuments and archeological sites. Turkey to cooperate with Israel and Palestine with historical preservation projects. 4) Educational programs for Palestinian and Israeli students focusing on holy sites throughout the land. Educational institutions currently training tour guides to spearhead these efforts, emphasizing change and continuity over time. 5) Truth and Reconciliation commissions to document and memorialize history. Institutions of higher learning to cooperate with education ministries. 6) UNRWA to close refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Repatriate and reimburse Arab and Jewish refugees according to their wishes—return, compensation, or memorials—on a case-by-case basis

Voir aussi:

The Anti-Terror, Pro-Israel Sheikh
FrontPageMagazine.com
Jamie Glazov

September 12, 2005

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community and a vocal critic of militant Islam.

FP: Hello Sheikh Palazzi, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is an honor to speak with you.

Palazzi: The honor is mine.

FP: One doesn’t find many prominent Muslim clerics today who openly denounce suicide bombings, let alone suicide bombings against Israelis. Yet you are quite vocal about supporting Israel’s right to exist. Tell us why, as a Muslim, you have come to this disposition and why you have received so much criticism from certain elements of the Muslim community for it.

Palazzi: As a scholar of Islamic Law, I believe that Islam permits wars under certain conditions (i.e., it permits some soldiers to fight against other soldiers when ordered to do so by the State), but strictly forbids taking military initiatives by individuals, groups or factions (which is referred as « fitnah », i.e., sedition), strictly forbids targeting civilians and strictly forbids committing suicide. Consequently, as a Muslim scholar, I must necessarily condemn suicide bombing as a matter of principle, irrespective of who the victims are. I am obliged to say that a suicide bomber is by no means a martyr of Islam, but a criminal who dies while committing acts which Islam views as capital crimes.

Regarding Israel, I beg your pardon but may I ask you to please consider refraining from speaking of Israel’s « right to exist. » Affirming Israel’s « right to exist » is as unacceptable as denying that right, because even posing the question of whether or not the Children of Israel (Jews) — individually, collectively or nationally — have a « right to exist » is unacceptable. Israel exists by Divine Right, confirmed in both the Bible and Qur’an.

I find in the Qur’an that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle therein (Qur’an, Sura 5:21) and that before the Last Day He will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of their Land, gathering them from different countries and nations (Qu’ran, Sura 17:104). Consequently, as a Muslim who abides by the Qur’an, I believe that opposing the existence of the State of Israel means opposing a Divine decree.

Every time Arabs fought against Israel they suffered humiliating defeats. In opposing the will of God by making war on Israel, Arabs were in effect making war on God Himself. They ignored the Qur’an, and God punished them. Now, having learned nothing from defeat after defeat, Arabs want to obtain through terror what they were unable to obtain through war: the destruction of the State of Israel. The result is quite predictable: as they have been defeated in the past, the Arabs will be defeated again.

In 1919, Emir Feisal (leader of the Hashemite family, i.e., the leader of the family of the Prophet Muhammad) reached an Agreement with Chaim Weizmann for the creation of a Jewish State and an Arab Kingdom having the Jordan river as a border between them. Emir Feisal wrote, « We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together. The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. »

In Feisal’s time, none claimed that accepting the creation of the State of Israel and befriending Zionism was against Islam. Even the Arab leaders who opposed the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement never resorted to an Islamic argument to condemn it. Unfortunately that Agreement was never implemented, since the British opposed the creation of the Arab Kingdom and chose to give sovereignty over Arabia to Ibn Sa’ud’s marauders, i.e., to the forefathers of the House of Sa’ud.

When the Saudis started ruling an oil rich kingdom, they also started investing a regular part of their wealth in spreading Wahhabism worldwide. Wahhabism is a totalitarian cult which stands for terror, massacre of civilians and for permanent war against Jews, Christians and non-Wahhabi Muslims. The influence of Wahhabism in the contemporary Arab world is such that many Arab Muslims are wrongly convinced that, in order to be a good Muslim, one must hate Israel and hope for its destruction.

Incidentally, in countries where Wahhabism did not spread, this idea is not rooted. Most Muslims in Turkey, India, Indonesia, or the former Soviet Union do not believe at all that a good Muslim must necessarily be anti-Israel. To give some relevant examples, the leading Muslim scholar and former President of Indonesia, Shaykh Abdurrahman Wahid, is on friendly terms with Israel and also visited leaders of Jewish organizations in the United States. The Mufti of Sierra Leone, Sheikh Ahmed Sillah, is also a friend of Israel, as is the Mufti of European Russia, Sheikh Salman Farid.

An organization called « Muslims for Israel » was recently founded in Canada. Voicing pro-Israeli points of view obviously causes negative reactions from Wahhabi groups and Muslims influenced by Wahhabism. However, while those people verbally attack and circulate the most astonishing fabrications about me, I also receive encouragement and support from pro-Israel Muslims living in different parts of the world.

While visiting Israel, I was welcomed by a delegation of heads of Arab villages in the Jerusalem area. They were telling me how much they like living in Israel, and how much they fear being transferred to PLO rule. Many of the Arab inhabitants of Gush Katif today share the same feeling. They say, « Israelis give us jobs and an opportunity to live in peace. What kind of future awaits us under PLO? » I am sure that, were they free to speak and able to see the reality beyond propaganda, many more Arab Muslims would support my positions.

Irshad Manji, a pro-Israeli Muslim journalist from Canada, tells that some Muslims support her openly, yet many more Muslims tell her, « We are with you, but are afraid to tell it. » The same happens to me in Italy, or when I visit Israel. As one knows, being anti-Israeli has become « politically correct » among Arabs. People are afraid to oppose what is « politically correct » even when they live in a democracy. What can one expect from those who live under totalitarian regimes and who have no access to a free press, but to governmental propaganda only? The world should give pro-Israeli Muslims a chance. We owe this to the memory of Anwar Sadat, martyred by those same Wahhabi terrorists who today spread terror everywhere.

In 1996, the Islam-Israel Fellowship of the Root & Branch Association was co-founded by myself and Dr. Asher Eder to promote cooperation between the State of Israel and Muslim nations, and between Jews and Muslims in Israel and abroad, to build a better world based upon a proper Jewish understanding of the Tanakh (Bible) and Jewish Tradition, and upon a proper Muslim understanding of the Qur’an (Koran) and Islamic Tradition. I recommend to FrontPage readers « Peace is Possible between Ishmael and Israel according to the Qur’an and the Tanach (Bible) » by Dr. Eder, with a Foreward by myself, which may be found at [www.rb.org.il ]. I also welcome your readers to visit my website at [ http://www.amislam.com ].

FP: Thank you Sheikh Palazzi. Tell us, if you believe in the life of the soul after death, where does the soul of the suicide bomber go?

Palazzi: Everyone who dies while committing capital sins such as suicide and murder will enter hellfire, except for the one who repents before death catches him. As for the one who dies without repenting for a capital sin — while having a correct doctrinal belief and believing that his sin was a sin — he will dwell in hellfire until his sin is expiated, or even less because of the eventual intercession of Prophets and pious people. However, those who die without repenting for a capital sin and without even believing it is a capital sin, will be denied entrance to heaven, and will dwell in hellfire as long as God wishes. However, God’s mercy is such that it completely prevails over his wrath, to the point where hellfire ultimately becomes an abode of relief.

In Islam, both murder and suicide are capital sins about whose nature no Muslim can either doubt or claim ignorance. Every Muslim must know that committing suicide and murder are forbidden in Islam, exactly as every Muslim knows that daily prayers are five, that the month of fasting is Ramadan, that the destination of pilgrimage is Mecca, etc.

Consequently, the one who dies as a suicide bomber and who does so while wrongly believing that his action is in accordance with Islam, actually dies without having correct doctrinal faith and without any opportunity of repentance, and consequently will permanently dwell in hellfire and will never be admitted to heaven. Denying that suicide and murder are capital sins in Islam represents a lack of correct doctrinal faith according to the Shari’a.

FP: Kindly relate to us your experience at the University of California in Santa Barbara on March 4, 2004, when you came on campus and denounced terrorism. Many Muslim students from the Muslim Students Association at UCSB tried to shout you down. What happened and what do you make of it?

Palazzi: In reality, those who opposed my visit at UCSB were a small group of students, mostly related to the local Muslim Student Association (MSA; i.e., to the student branch of the Wahhabi Muslim Brotherhood). I invited them to be involved in the debate, to explain the reasons why they opposed my visit and/or the contents of my speech.

However, they were not in the least interested in real debate and discussion. They only shouted some slogans and left the hall. Other Muslim students, not related to the MSA, on the contrary appreciated my visit, and together with non-Muslim students went on asking me questions privately even after the public debate was over. Apart from that small group of vociferous opponents, both Muslim and non-Muslim students at UCSB were friendly and interested in thoughtful discussion of issues.

FP: Can you illuminate for us the humane and tolerant side of Islam?

Palazzi: In contrast to Wahhabism, which is a religion of terror, coercion and violence, Sunni Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. A Muslim is called to be a loyal citizen of the country in which he lives, on the condition that the State does not deny his basic religious freedom and does not compel him to accept another religion by force. If the government is in other respects tyrannical, corrupt, oppressive, etc., a Muslim may seek redress through established legal channels, without resort to sedition or violence. If he thinks government oppression is unbearable, he must migrate elsewhere. This is the case regardless of whether or not Muslims are a majority or a minority, or the ruler is a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

Sunni Islam recognized different forms of efforts to support Islam (jihad), and acknowledges a military form of jihad. In the Sunni understanding, military jihad can only be undertaken by an Islamic State. Muslims may not initiate armed conflicts on their own initiative, but only after the head of an Islamic State has formally declared war against another state which oppresses Muslims or denies their religion freedom. Islamic sources foresaw that the Islamic State (Caliphate) would cease to exist, and that Muslims and non-Muslims alike would be ruled for a period of history by secular states alone.

According to Sunni belief, the Caliphate will be restored in messianic times, by Imam al-Mahdi, and not by politicians or military leaders. As long as Imam al-Mahdi is not present, no restoration of the Caliphate is possible, and without a Caliphate military jihad is impossible. The only legitimate jihad in our time is not-military jihad, i.e., competing with non-Muslims in good deeds, such as creating a better world and establishing enduring peace.

Wahhabis simply take words used in Islamic Law and apply them against Islamic Law itself. In Islamic Law, terrorism is a sin, and suicide another sin. Wahhabis call « jihad » acts of suicide terrorism and « martyrs » those who die while committing them. With regard to murder and suicide, the conflicting positions of Sunni Islam and Wahhabism are fundamental and irreconcilable.

FP: Tell us a bit about your upbringing and your own intellectual and spiritual journey? Who were some mentors/figures who influenced you? Has your philosophy and outlook always been the same or has it changed over the years? Tell us about a matter about which you have changed your mind or have had second thoughts over the years.

Palazzi: I was born in Rome into a non-observant Muslim family, having no special interest in religion. At that time, there existed in Italy no Muslim organization and no religious facilities. Apart from some Arabic words and some knowledge of major Islamic holidays, I received no formal religious education. Even so, since my youth I was interested in spirituality and metaphysics, and this led me to study philosophy at the State University of Rome.

During that period, I felt a need to rediscover my Islamic roots. After completing my secular education I moved to Cairo, wherein I studied at al-Azhar Islamic University. In Cairo, I had the opportunity to study under the best teachers. At that time, al-Azhar was not, as it is today, a nest of Wahhabi and neo-Salafi fanatics and extremists, but was still a center of traditional Islamic learning.

While living in Cairo, I also had the opportunity to study Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, under my main teachers, Sheikh Ismail al-Azhari and Sheikh Hussein al-Khalwati. I also benefited from the opportunity to study under the then Mufti of Egypt, the late Sheikh Muhammad al-Mutawali as-Sha’rawi, the one who convinced Sadat to make peace with Israel and who went with him to Jerusalem to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque.

When I came back to Rome, I met other Muslims sharing my attitude, and together we established the organization which today is called the Italian Muslim Assembly. While a teenager, I studied different ideologies and philosophies, and was to a certain extent influenced by them. However, after my stay in Cairo, I considered my basic period of intellectual and spiritual formation completed. My spiritual philosophy has remained more or less the same until today.

FP: What did you think about Pope John Paul II? What do you think of the new Pope?

Palazzi: I think the late Pope John Paul II was a contradictory personality. He made some decisions which were extremely progressive (interfaith meetings, visits to mosques and synagogues, etc.), but his individual theology was nevertheless extremely conservative and from a certain point of view naive. He publicly asked forgiveness for crimes committed by the Church against Jews, but afterwards canonized some very controversial personalities, such as his predecessor Pius IX (one of the most implacable enemies of democracy in the history of humanity), and even pro-Nazi Croatian Cardinal Stepinac.

John Paul II took no steps to censor priests and bishops who scandalously cooperated with mass-murderers such as Saddam Hussein or Yasser Arafat, and refused to take a clear position about bishops involved in covering up the scandal of pedophile priests. He approved the war in Kosovo to free the oppressed population from Milosevic, but had no courage to support the war for the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein. The refusal of John Paul II to « bless » the international Coalition fighting for the liberation of Iraq is something I as a Muslim can hardly forgive, as I cannot forget Catholic organizations marching together with Communists and neo-Nazis « against Bush’s war » and objectively in support of Saddam’s regime.

On themes such as birth control and embryology John Paul II’s mentality was totally obscurantist and medieval. He compared abortion to massacres committed by Nazis and Communists. He promoted dialogue between the Church and non-Catholic religions, but permitted Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) to silence theological debate and dissent within the Catholic Church itself.

From a political point of view, John Paul II supported a direct and constant interference of the Church in the affairs of European States, especially Italy. Many Italians, even practicing Catholic Italians, were disappointed by the idea of a foreign (in this case Polish) pope who interfered with the dialectic of majority rule and minority opposition in our country, and considered it a gross infringement of our national sovereignty.

To conclude, I must say that the pontificate of John Paul II was characterized by light and darkness. Positive elements were counter-balanced by many negative ones.

As for Benedict XVI, taking into consideration the documents he signed when he was President of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the « Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition »), he seems to be even more conservative than was John Paul II, and even less inclined to tolerate theological pluralism inside the Catholic Church. In one these documents, the « Dominus Jesus » Declaration, the then Cardinal Ratzinger explained that « interfaith dialogue must be understood as a part of the missionary activity of the Catholic Church. » The same document openly says that non-Catholic religions are « seriously defective » from a theological and ethical point of view.

All this is not encouraging at all. We have a Pope, Benedict XVI, who simply rejects the notion of pluralism. He does not see the Catholic Church as an element of society which must co-exist with other elements on a basis of equality and dignity, but sees the Catholic Church as the master which must educate society.

According to the approach of Benedict XVI, religions do not represent different spiritual perspectives, each of which can make its unique contribution to help us partially understand the mystery of God. Benedict thinks the truth about God is already known, and the Pope (i.e., himself) is the only authorized interpreter of that truth. Catholics and non-Catholics alike must simply be educated by the one (i.e., himself) who represents that truth on earth.

Dialogue is not seen as an end in itself, but only as a tool to bring non-Catholic religions more in line with Catholicism. With regard to the attitudes of past Popes such as John XXIII and Paul VI, Benedict XVI seriously risks nullifying the results of the Second Vatican Council and returning Catholic theology to what it was at the time of the Counter Reformation.

Ratzinger, therefore, is a Pope who preaches a totalitarian understanding of religion, and incidentally is also the first Pope to have participated in a Nazi German youth movement. Perhaps this past will not affect relations with Jews, but Benedict recently chose not to mention Israel by name in a public statement of solidarity with nations that recently suffered terrorist attacks. When the Israeli government protested this omission, the reaction of the Press Office of the Holy See was arrogant, condescending, and dismissive, adding insult (a sin of commission) to the original injury (a sin of omission), especially when one considers that the omission was committed by a Bavarian Pope who was both a member of a Nazi German youth movement and a soldier in the Nazi German Wehrmacht.

FP: You are, of course, right about some of these things. I guess I will just say that Pope John Paul II was an incredible human being who provided crucial and meaningful spiritual leadership during a tumultuous time. His job was not to run a popularity contest. I think in some ways he was a very holy man and brought much light to a dark world. He was firm in several areas where it was necessary to be firm. And, of course, he played a tremendous role in the crumbling of an evil empire.

The hype that the media went on about Benedict XVI being in the Nazi German youth movement is also a vicious and dirty cheap shot. Pope XVI was never a Nazi and everyone knows it. All German boys at that time were forced to become members of the Hitler Youth – and so was he. This Pope has made it clear years ago how his faith showed him the evil of Nazism and anti-Semitism.

Palazzi: Although « all German boys at that time were forced to become members of the hitler youth, » the young Joseph Ratzinger nevertheless volunteered for a combat unit of the Hitler Youth. This circumstance is confirmed by the Vatican press office. Of course, we are dealing with a teenager living in a period when Nazi indoctrination was systematic, but at least during that period Joseph Ratzinger was a convinced Nazi who chose to join a military unit fighting against the Allies. I do not doubt that his faith showed him the evil of Nazism and anti-Semitism, but this happened after World War Two was over, not before.

FP: Well, Sheikh Palazzi, the evidence suggests that the Pope volunteering for a combat unit is simply untrue and that is why the Pope evaded people who were trying to force him to « volunteer » for a combat unit by declaring his intent to become a priest. There is no trace to the assertion that the Vatican Press Office confirmed the opposite. Ratzinger received a dispensation from the Hitler Youth because of his religious studies and he deserted the German army. He never attended any Hitler Youth meetings and his seminary professor secured the paper « proving » his attendance on his behalf.

And it is this upon this falsehood that you frame your further assertion that Ratzinger was at that time a « convinced Nazi » — which is, with all due respect, simply a historical falsehood and a personal slander. His own word, and those of all who knew him and his family, says otherwise: that he and his whole family were anti-Nazis. There is no trace of Nazism in anything Ratzinger has ever done since the war, and it seems that many people are just trying to smear him and his theological conservatism – quite an unworthy thing to do.

In any case, let’s get back to the terror war. What is the best way for the West to fight it? What do you think of the American liberation of Iraq?

Palazzi: To win a war, one must identify who the enemy is and neutralize the enemy’s chain of command. World War Two was won when the German army was destroyed, Berlin was captured and Hitler removed from power. To win the War on Terror, it is necessary to understand that al-Qa’ida is a Saudi organization, created by the House of Sa’ud, funded with petro-dollar profits by the House of Sa’ud and used by the House of Sa’ud for acts of mass terror primarily against the West, and the rest of the world, as well.

Consequently, to really win the War on Terror it is necessary for the U.S. to invade Saudi Arabia, capture King Abdallah and the other 1,500 princes who constitute the House of Sa’ud, to freeze their assets, to remove them from power, and to send them to Guantanamo for life imprisonment.

Then it is necessary to replace the Saudi-Wahhabi terror-funding regime with a moderate, non-Wahhabi and pro-West regime, such as a Hashemite Sunni Muslim constitutional monarchy.

Unless all this is done, the War on Terror will never be won. It is possible to destroy al-Qa’ida, to capture or execute Bin Laden, al-Zarqawi, al-Zawahiri, etc., but this will not end the War. After some years, Saudi princes will again start funding many similar terror organizations. The Saudi regime can only survive by increasing its support for terror.

Saddam’s regime was one of the worst criminal dictatorships which existed in this world, and destroying it was surely a praiseworthy task for which, as a Muslim, I am thankful to President Bush, to the governments who joined the Coalition and to soldiers who fought in the field. Destroying the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq were surely praiseworthy tasks, but I regret that focusing on these secondary enemies was — for the White House — a way to obscure the role of the world’s main enemy: the Saudis.

FP: What do you think of President Bush?

Palazzi: I am extremely disappointed with him. I hoped that — after Saudi terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11 — this would necessarily cause a radical revision in U.S.-Saudi relations. The first action a U.S. President had to do after such a criminal attack as 9/11 was to immediately outlaw Saudi-controlled institutions inside the U.S. and acknowledge that viewing Saudis as « friends » was a mortal sin representing sixty years of failed U.S. foreign and economic policy.

U.S. governmental agencies have plenty of evidence about the role of the House of Sa’ud in funding the worldwide terror network. U.S. citizens can even read in newspapers that some days before the 9/11 attack Muhammad Atta received a check from the wife of the former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar, but unbelievably this caused no consequences. Let us consider plain facts: the wife of a foreign ambassador pays terrorists for attacks which murder thousands of U.S. citizens, and the U.S. government not only does not declare war on that foreign country, in this case Saudi Arabia, but does not even terminate diplomatic relations with that country.

On the contrary, then-Crown Prince Abdallah, the creator (together with the new Saudi ambassador to the United States, former Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Father of 9/11, Prince Turki al-Feisal) of al-Qa’ida, is immediately invited to Bush’s ranch as a honored guest, and Bush tells him, « You are our ally in the War on Terror »! Can one image FDR inviting Hitler to the United States and telling him, « You are our ally in the war against Fascism in Europe »?

Something very similar happened after 9/11. As a matter of fact, the Saudis supported Bush’s electoral campaign for his first term in office, and asked him in exchange to be the first U.S. President to promote the creation of a Palestinian State. Once he was elected, Bush refused to abide by the agreement, and the consequence was 9/11.

« We paid for your election, and now you must do want we want from you », this was the message behind the 9/11 attack. Bush immediately started doing what the Saudis wanted from him: compelling Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in order to permit the creation of a PLO state. Western media speak of a « Road Map, » while Arab media call it by its real name: « Abdallah’s Plan. »

One hears about a U.S. President who allegedly leads a « War on Terror » and promotes the spread of « democracy » and « freedom » in the Islamic world, but the reality shows a U.S. president who — after a Saudi terror attack against the U.S. — abides by a Saudi diktat, hides the role of the Saudi regime behind al-Qa’ida and wants Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, cut to pieces to facilitate the creation of another dictatorial regime, lead by Arafat deputy Abu Mazen, the terrorist who organized the mass murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Theoretically, Bush proclaims his intention to punish terror and to spread democracy, but the Road Map is the exact opposite of all this: it means punishing the victims of terror and rewarding terrorists, compelling democracy to withdraw in order to create a new dictatorial Arab regime. For the U.S. there is only one single trustworthy ally in the entire Middle East: Israel.

Now Bush is punishing America’s ally Israel to reward those who heartily supported « our brother Saddam », those who demonstrate by burning Stars and Strips flags and those who call America « the imperialist power controlled by Zionism ». In doing so, Bush seriously risks becoming the most anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish President in the history of the U.S.

Let us look at the impending victims of Bush’s foreign policy, at the inhabitants of Gush Katif. What is their crime? What did they do to merit deportation from their homes and the theft of their farms and businesses? They live in peace, work hard and provide jobs for thousands of Gaza Arabs. To please the Saudis, Bush wants a Judenrein Gaza, with the Jews of Gush Katif deported from their homes, their houses destroyed and even the remains of their relatives exhumed and buried elsewhere.

Were one to proclaim « Jews, for the only reason of their being Jews, must be deported from New York and forcibly resettled in New Jersey », the whole world would shout and say this is racist deportation, ethnic cleansing, violation of basic human rights, etc. Now, by supporting the infamous anti-Israeli Saudi Plan, Bush is applying the same identical principle: he accepts the idea that Jews, for the only fault of being Jews, must be deported from their homes in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and resettled elsewhere.

Throughout history, Jews were frequently deported from country to country by Romans, Popes, Czars, Nazis, etc. Now, thanks to Bush’s policy, Jews will also be deported from Israel, and deported not by anti-Semitic regimes, but by Jews and others wearing Israeli uniforms. It is the norm for Arab dictators to conceive a political project based on ethnic cleansing and deportation of Jews, but it is simply unbelievable that a U.S. President approves such a project and compels Israel to accept it.

I am shocked to realize that a U.S. President supports ethnic cleansing of Jews from parts of the Land of Israel, and that most American Jewish organizational leaders either keep silent or even approve of this deportation plan. With the few praiseworthy exceptions of the Zionist Organization of America (Morton Klein), Americans for a Safe Israel (Herb Zweibon and Helen Freedman), National Council of Young Israel (Pesach Lerner) and a few other groups, most Jewish organizations in the U.S. collaborate with Bush’s plans against their own brothers and sisters in Israel.

The implications of the Road Map are staggering: A Jew is not like other human beings, he can be deported from place to place, according to the cynical oil drenched dictates of political opportunism. Deporting Jews and cutting Israel into pieces was the original goal of Arab dictators supported by the Soviet Union.

The U.S. has consistently opposed this racist policy and supported Israel against terrorists who wanted to destroy it. Now Bush is granting those same terrorists a victory: what was not accomplished by terror will be accomplished by the Israeli Defence Forces with the support of the United States. Saudis are able to compel a U.S. President to betray U.S. allies and to force the creation of an entity (« Palestine ») controlled by terrorists.

President Bush claims to be a Born Again Christian and also claims to read the Bible every day. The Bible says that God gave the Land of Israel as a heritage to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and gave the rest of the world as a heritage to other peoples. As confirmed by the Qur’an and Islamic tradition, Abraham himself bequeathed to his descendants from Isaac the Land of Israel, and bequeathed to his descendants from Ishmael other lands, such as the Arabian peninsula.

Now descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, have a gigantic territory extending from Morocco to Iraq. The descendants of Isaac, the Jews, on the contrary, only have a tiny, narrow strip of land. However, Arab dictators are not satisfied with their huge territory. They want more. They also want the little heritage of the Children of Israel, and resort to terror in order to get it.

U.S. Presidents have always opposed this attempt to steal from the Jewish People what God granted them. Now we have a U.S. President who claims to honor the Bible, and yet wants to give Arab dictators what belongs to the Jewish People. By doing so, Bush is not only rewarding terror, encouraging further terror and showing the world that terror works, but he is also opposing God’s will. I pray that the citizens of the U.S. will be spared the full consequences of this anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-God foreign policy.

FP: There is indeed a tragedy inherent in the Israelis not being defended the way they should be. And the disengagement from Gaza truly comes with many dangerous risks. But there are several very shrewd strategic reasons involved in this move and they are in Israel’s interests. We shouldn’t forget that. Bush and Sharon are making wise and calculated steps in their own context. It is more complicated than simply seeing this as a great malicious betrayal. But we’ll have to debate this another time.

Let us turn to your personal interests for a moment. What are some of your favorite books?

Palazzi: Books I prefer reading are those dealing with spirituality. I am especially interested in the study of similarities between Sufism and Kabbalah, and consequently I consider « al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah » by Ibn ‘Arabi and the « Zohar » as my basic sources. I am also interested in the study of non-monotheistic mysticism, and consequently appreciate the Upanishad, the Vedantasutra and the Purana of the Hindu tradition, the Buddhist Canon and the Greek Philokalia. I am also interested in the history of Middle East. Books such as « Battle Ground » by Shmuel Katz and « The Secret War Against the Jews » by John Loftus are among my favorites.

FP: Do you listen to music? If so, tell us what music you like.

Palazzi: Because of my academic interests in ethnomusicology and ritual dance, I frequently listen to Medieval music, be it Arabic-Andalusi, Maghrebi, Persian, European or Byzantine. Then I am also fond of symphonic music, and my favorite composers are Bruckner, Mahler and Stravinsky. I also like jazz, especially from New Orleans.

FP: Why do you think Islamic extremists demonize music? For instance, the Taliban illegalized all music, Khomeini illegalized many forms of “Western music” etc. What is it about music that they see so threatening? Isn’t music a divine gift? Also, do you think dancing is anti-Islamic?

Palazzi: Khomeini was not so extreme about music as are the Taliban (who follow an Indian version of Saudi Wahhabism known as Deobandism) or the Saudis. Khomeini never demonized music in principle. He rather imposed his personal preferences regarding which music was acceptable and which was not. Khomeini deemed traditional Islamic music and Western classical music to be acceptable, and modern Western popular music to be unacceptable. The Taliban, on the contrary, even banned Sufi music and traditional Islamic chants, and the Saudis go on doing the same until today.

Some Muslim scholars of the past restricted the range of acceptable music to a minimum, but Imam al-Ghazali, a leading authority in the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence to which I belong, preferred to emphasize the positive value of music. A chapter of al-Ghazali’s book in Persian, « The Alchemy of Happiness », is entitled « Concerning Music and Dancing as Aids to the Religious Life ».

al-Ghazali writes: « The heart of man has been so constituted by the Almighty that, like a flint, it contains a hidden fire which is evoked by music and harmony, and renders man beside himself with ecstasy. These harmonies are echoes of that higher world of beauty which we call the world of spirits; they remind man of his relationship to that world, and produce in him an emotion so deep and strange that he himself is powerless to explain it. The effect of music and dancing is deeper in proportion as the natures on which they act are simple and prone to motion; they fan into a flame whatever love is already dormant in the heart, whether it be earthly and sensual, or divine and spiritual ».

While other scholars tried to classify musical instruments and musical styles as permissible or forbidden on the basis of their personal preferences, Imam al-Ghazali on the contrary classified music according to the effects it produces on the soul: music which promotes illicit and immoral desires must be avoided, while music which echoes spiritual harmony and awakens contemplation should be encouraged. The latter kind of music is surely a divine gift. Till today Sufi musicians play traditional songs and mystical melodies in order to increase love for God and to cause listeners to join in ecstatic dancing.

FP: So do you ever dance to your favorite music?

Palazzi: I not only regularly dance according to the teachings of the Mevlevi school as they were received by the Naqshbandi and Qadiri Sufi Orders, but I also teach my students, with the authorization of my Sheikhs, what in the West is known as the ritual dance of the Whirling Dervishes. In Arabic, this same dance is called Sama’, meaning « listening ». The ritualized techniques of Sufi dance are necessary since an ordinary person lacks spontaneity. For those who reach a certain spiritual level, technique itself is not necessary anymore: listening to traditional Mevlevi music, especially to the sound of flute and drum, is enough to lead to spontaneous dance out of love for God.

During the last years, I have led seminars and arranged performances of the ritual dance of the Whirling Dervishes in cultural centers, universities and dancing schools. Students at dancing schools have some technical advantages over participants who never attended such schools, but in many cases the dance students were less spontaneous and more concerned with external appearances. These dance students were educated to perform for the public in performances which must please audiences. In Dergas, Sufi dancing halls, students dance exclusively for the Beloved One, and to be united with Him. That is the basic difference.

FP: Do you think that veiling of women in Islam should me mandatory or voluntary?

Palazzi: Wearing or not wearing a veil should be the choice of a Muslim woman alone. No one has the right to compel her to wear or not wear a veil. As with prayer, fasting and all the other religious practices, veiling has meaning when it is spontaneous and reflects one’s will to please God by choosing to observe a religious precept. Forcing people to observe religious precepts does not result in an increase in faith, but rather an increase in hypocrisy. One does not pray, fast or wear a veil as an expression of freely chosen faith to submit to what one believes to be commanded by God, but only due to human coercion.

Consequently, I strongly condemn those regimes, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, which force women who do not want to wear the veil to do so; and regimes, such as Turkey and France, which prevent women who do want to wear the veil from doing so. My ideal of religious freedom is that, if a woman wants to veil, she must be free to do so, and the State must defend her right to veil; while if a woman does not want to veil, she must be free to do so, and the State must defend her right not to do so.

Voir encore:

What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?
Understanding what the Muslim Brotherhood’s Gaza branch wants by studying its theology, strategy, and history
Jeffrey Goldberg

The Atlantic

AUG 4 2014

In the spring of 2009, Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, surprised some of his readers by claiming that Iran’s remaining Jews were “living, working and worshiping in relative tranquility.”

Cohen wrote: “Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran—its sophistication and culture—than all the inflammatory rhetoric.”

Perhaps.

In this, and other, columns, Cohen appeared to be trying to convince his fellow Jews that they had less to fear from the Iran of Khamenei and (at the time) Ahmadinejad than they thought. To me, the column was a whitewash. It seemed (and seems) reasonable to worry about the intentions of those Iranian leaders who deny or minimize the Holocaust while hoping to annihilate the Jewish state, and who have funded and trained groups—Hezbollah and Hamas—that have as their goal the killing of Jews.

It is a dereliction of responsibility not to try to understand the goals and beliefs of Islamist totalitarian movements.
Cohen’s most acid critics came from within the Persian Jewish exile community. The vast majority of Iran’s Jews fled the country after the Khomeini revolution; many found refuge in Los Angeles. David Wolpe, the rabbi of Sinai Temple there, invited Cohen to speak to his congregants, about half of whom are Persian exiles, shortly after the column appeared. Cohen, to his credit, accepted the invitation. The encounter between Cohen and an audience of several hundred (mainly Jews, but also Bahais, members of a faith persecuted with great intensity by the Iranian regime) was tense but mainly civil (you can watch it here). For me, the most interesting moment came not in a discussion about the dubious health of Iran’s remnant Jewish population, but after Wolpe asked Cohen about the intentions of Iran and its allies toward Jews living outside Iran.

“Right now,” Wolpe said, “Israel is much more powerful than Hezbollah and Hamas. Let’s say tomorrow this was reversed. Let’s say Hamas had the firepower of Israel and Israel had the firepower of Hamas. What do you think would happen to Israel were the balance of power reversed?”

“I don’t know what would happen tomorrow,” Cohen answered. This response brought a measure of derisive laughter from the incredulous audience. “And it doesn’t matter that I don’t know because it’s not going to happen tomorrow or in one or two years.” Wolpe quickly told Cohen that he himself knows exactly what would happen if the power balance between Hamas and Israel were to be reversed. (Later, Wolpe told me that he thought Cohen could not have been so naïve as to misunderstand the nature of Hamas and Hezbollah, but instead was simply caught short by the question.)

At the time, Cohen suggested that he was uninterested in grappling with the nature of Hamas and its goals. “I reject the thinking behind your question,” he said. “It’s not useful to go there.”

“Going there,” however, is necessary, not only to understand why Israelis fear Hamas, but also to understand that the narrative advanced by Hamas apologists concerning the group’s beliefs and goals is false. “Going there” also does not require enormous imagination, or a well-developed predisposition toward paranoia. It is, in my opinion, a dereliction of responsibility on the part of progressives not to try to understand the goals and beliefs of Islamist totalitarian movements.

(This post, you should know, is not a commentary on the particulars of the war between Israel and Hamas, a war in which Hamas baited Israel and Israel took the bait. Each time Israel kills an innocent Palestinian in its attempt to neutralize Hamas’s rockets, it represents a victory for Hamas, which has made plain its goal of getting Israel to kill innocent Gazans. Suffice it to say that Israel cannot afford many more “victories” of the sort it is seeking in Gaza right now. I supported a ceasefire early in this war precisely because I believed that the Israeli government had not thought through its strategic goals, or the methods for achieving those goals.)

While it is true that Hamas is expert at getting innocent Palestinians killed, it has made it very plain, in word and deed, that it would rather kill Jews. The following blood-freezing statement is from the group’s charter: “The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The day of judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

This is a frank and open call for genocide, embedded in one of the most thoroughly anti-Semitic documents you’ll read this side of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Not many people seem to know that Hamas’s founding document is genocidal. Sometimes, the reasons for this lack of knowledge are benign; other times, as the New Yorker’s Philip Gourevitch argues in his recent dismantling of Rashid Khalidi’s apologia for Hamas, this ignorance is a direct byproduct of a decision to mask evidence of Hamas’s innate theocratic fascism.

The historian of totalitarianism Jeffrey Herf, in an article on the American Interest website, places the Hamas charter in context:

[T]he Hamas Covenant of 1988 notably replaced the Marxist-Leninist conspiracy theory of world politics with the classic anti-Semitic tropes of Nazism and European fascism, which the Islamists had absorbed when they collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. That influence is apparent in Article 22, which asserts that “supportive forces behind the enemy” have amassed great wealth: « With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. With their money, they took control of the world media. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about here and there. With their money, they formed secret societies, such as Freemason, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there. »

The above paragraph of Article 22 could have been taken, almost word for word, from Nazi Germany’s anti-Jewish propaganda texts and broadcasts.
The question Roger Cohen refused to answer at Sinai Temple was addressed in a recent post by Sam Harris, the atheist intellectual, who is opposed, as a matter of ideology, to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state (or to any country organized around a religion), but who for practical reasons supports its continued existence as a haven for an especially persecuted people, and also as a not-particularly religious redoubt in a region of the world deeply affected by religious fundamentalism. Referring not only to the Hamas charter, Harris writes that, “The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking.”

Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that it should have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews.

And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. …

What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself. We’ve already had a Holocaust and several other genocides in the 20th century. People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen. There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could. Would every Palestinian support genocide? Of course not. But vast numbers of them—and of Muslims throughout the world—would. Needless to say, the Palestinians in general, not just Hamas, have a history of targeting innocent noncombatants in the most shocking ways possible. They’ve blown themselves up on buses and in restaurants. They’ve massacred teenagers. They’ve murdered Olympic athletes. They now shoot rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas.
The first time I witnessed Hamas’s hatred of Jews manifest itself in large-scale, fatal violence was in late July of 1997, when two of the group’s suicide bombers detonated themselves in an open-air market in West Jerusalem. The attack took 16 lives, and injured 178. I happened to be only a few blocks from the market at the time of the attack, and arrived shortly after the paramedics and firefighters. Over the next hours, a scene unfolded that I would see again and again: screaming relatives; members of the Orthodox burial society scraping flesh off walls; the ground covered in blood and viscera. I remember another Hamas attack, on a bus in downtown Jerusalem, in which body parts of children were blown into the street by the force of the blast. At yet another bombing, I was with rescue workers as they recovered a human arm stuck high up in a tree.

After each of these attacks, Hamas leaders issued blood-curdling statements claiming credit, and promising more death. “The Jews will lose because they crave life but a true Muslim loves death,” a former Hamas leader, Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, told me in an interview in 2002. In the same interview he made the following imperishable statement: “People always talk about what the Germans did to the Jews, but the true question is, ‘What did the Jews do to the Germans?’”

I will always remember this interview not only because Rantisi’s Judeophobia was breathtaking, but because just as I was leaving his apartment in Gaza City, a friend from Jerusalem called to tell me that she had just heard a massive explosion outside her office at the Hebrew University (not far, by the way, of an attack earlier today). A cafeteria had just been bombed, my friend told me. This was another Hamas operation, one which killed nine people, including a young woman of exceptional promise named Marla Bennett, a 24-year-old American student who wrote shortly before her death, “My friends and family in San Diego ask me to come home, it is dangerous here. I appreciate their concern. But there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now. I have a front-row seat for the history of the Jewish people.”

Hamas is an organization devoted to ending Jewish history. This is what so many Jews understand, and what so many non-Jews don’t. The novelist Amos Oz, who has led Israel’s left-wing peace camp for decades, said in an interview last week that he doesn’t see a prospect for compromise between Israel and Hamas. « I have been a man of compromise all my life, » Oz said. « But even a man of compromise cannot approach Hamas and say: ‘Maybe we meet halfway and Israel only exists on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.' »

In the years since it adopted its charter, Hamas leaders and spokesmen have reinforced its message again and again. Mahmoud Zahar said in 2006 that the group « will not change a single word in its covenant. » To underscore the point, in 2010 Zahhar said, « Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety. I say this loud and clear so that nobody will accuse me of employing political tactics. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy. »

In 2011, the former Hamas minister of culture, Atallah Abu al-Subh, said that « the Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah. Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world. » Just last week, a top Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, accused Jews of using Christian blood to make matzo. This is not a group, in other words, that is seeking the sort of peace that Amos Oz—or, for that matter, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas—is seeking. People wonder why Israelis have such a visceral reaction to Hamas. The answer is easy. Israel is a small country, and most of its citizens know someone who was murdered by Hamas in its extended suicide-bombing campaigns; and most people also understand that if Hamas had its way, it would kill them as well.

Voir par ailleurs:

In Defense of Zionism
The often reviled ideology that gave rise to Israel has been an astonishing historical success.
Michael B. Oren
WSJ
Aug. 1, 2014

They come from every corner of the country—investment bankers, farmers, computer geeks, jazz drummers, botany professors, car mechanics—leaving their jobs and their families. They put on uniforms that are invariably too tight or too baggy, sign out their gear and guns. Then, scrambling onto military vehicles, 70,000 reservists—women and men—join the young conscripts of what is proportionally the world’s largest citizen army. They all know that some of them will return maimed or not at all. And yet, without hesitation or (for the most part) complaint, proudly responding to the call-up, Israelis stand ready to defend their nation. They risk their lives for an idea.

The idea is Zionism. It is the belief that the Jewish people should have their own sovereign state in the Land of Israel. Though founded less than 150 years ago, the Zionist movement sprung from a 4,000-year-long bond between the Jewish people and its historic homeland, an attachment sustained throughout 20 centuries of exile. This is why Zionism achieved its goals and remains relevant and rigorous today. It is why citizens of Israel—the state that Zionism created—willingly take up arms. They believe their idea is worth fighting for.

Yet Zionism, arguably more than any other contemporary ideology, is demonized. « All Zionists are legitimate targets everywhere in the world! » declared a banner recently paraded by anti-Israel protesters in Denmark. « Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances, » warned a sign in the window of a Belgian cafe. A Jewish demonstrator in Iceland was accosted and told, « You Zionist pig, I’m going to behead you. »

In certain academic and media circles, Zionism is synonymous with colonialism and imperialism. Critics on the radical right and left have likened it to racism or, worse, Nazism. And that is in the West. In the Middle East, Zionism is the ultimate abomination—the product of a Holocaust that many in the region deny ever happened while maintaining nevertheless that the Zionists deserved it.

What is it about Zionism that elicits such loathing? After all, the longing of a dispersed people for a state of their own cannot possibly be so repugnant, especially after that people endured centuries of massacres and expulsions, culminating in history’s largest mass murder. Perhaps revulsion toward Zionism stems from its unusual blend of national identity, religion and loyalty to a land. Japan offers the closest parallel, but despite its rapacious past, Japanese nationalism doesn’t evoke the abhorrence aroused by Zionism.

Clearly anti-Semitism, of both the European and Muslim varieties, plays a role. Cabals, money grubbing, plots to take over the world and murder babies—all the libels historically leveled at Jews are regularly hurled at Zionists. And like the anti-Semitic capitalists who saw all Jews as communists and the communists who painted capitalism as inherently Jewish, the opponents of Zionism portray it as the abominable Other.

But not all of Zionism’s critics are bigoted, and not a few of them are Jewish. For a growing number of progressive Jews, Zionism is too militantly nationalist, while for many ultra-Orthodox Jews, the movement is insufficiently pious—even heretical. How can an idea so universally reviled retain its legitimacy, much less lay claim to success?

The answer is simple: Zionism worked. The chances were infinitesimal that a scattered national group could be assembled from some 70 countries into a sliver-sized territory shorn of resources and rich in adversaries and somehow survive, much less prosper. The odds that those immigrants would forge a national identity capable of producing a vibrant literature, pace-setting arts and six of the world’s leading universities approximated zero.

Elsewhere in the world, indigenous languages are dying out, forests are being decimated, and the populations of industrialized nations are plummeting. Yet Zionism revived the Hebrew language, which is now more widely spoken than Danish and Finnish and will soon surpass Swedish. Zionist organizations planted hundreds of forests, enabling the land of Israel to enter the 21st century with more trees than it had at the end of the 19th. And the family values that Zionism fostered have produced the fastest natural growth rate in the modernized world and history’s largest Jewish community. The average secular couple in Israel has at least three children, each a reaffirmation of confidence in Zionism’s future.

Indeed, by just about any international criteria, Israel is not only successful but flourishing. The population is annually rated among the happiest, healthiest and most educated in the world. Life expectancy in Israel, reflecting its superb universal health-care system, significantly exceeds America’s and that of most European countries. Unemployment is low, the economy robust. A global leader in innovation, Israel is home to R&D centers of some 300 high-tech companies, including Apple, Intel and Motorola. The beaches are teeming, the rock music is awesome, and the food is off the Zagat charts.

The democratic ideals integral to Zionist thought have withstood pressures that have precipitated coups and revolutions in numerous other nations. Today, Israel is one of the few states—along with Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S.—that has never known a second of nondemocratic governance.

These accomplishments would be sufficiently astonishing if attained in North America or Northern Europe. But Zionism has prospered in the supremely inhospitable—indeed, lethal—environment of the Middle East. Two hours’ drive east of the bustling nightclubs of Tel Aviv—less than the distance between New York and Philadelphia—is Jordan, home to more than a half million refugees from Syria’s civil war. Traveling north from Tel Aviv for four hours would bring that driver to war-ravaged Damascus or, heading east, to the carnage in western Iraq. Turning south, in the time it takes to reach San Francisco from Los Angeles, the traveler would find himself in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

In a region reeling with ethnic strife and religious bloodshed, Zionism has engendered a multiethnic, multiracial and religiously diverse society. Arabs serve in the Israel Defense Forces, in the Knesset and on the Supreme Court. While Christian communities of the Middle East are steadily eradicated, Israel’s continues to grow. Israeli Arab Christians are, in fact, on average better educated and more affluent than Israeli Jews.

In view of these monumental achievements, one might think that Zionism would be admired rather than deplored. But Zionism stands accused of thwarting the national aspirations of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants, of oppressing and dispossessing them.

Never mind that the Jews were natives of the land—its Arabic place names reveal Hebrew palimpsests—millennia before the Palestinians or the rise of Palestinian nationalism. Never mind that in 1937, 1947, 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians received offers to divide the land and rejected them, usually with violence. And never mind that the majority of Zionism’s adherents today still stand ready to share their patrimony in return for recognition of Jewish statehood and peace.

The response to date has been, at best, a refusal to remain at the negotiating table or, at worst, war. But Israelis refuse to relinquish the hope of resuming negotiations with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. To live in peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors remains the Zionist dream.

Still, for all of its triumphs, its resilience and openness to peace, Zionism fell short of some of its original goals. The agrarian, egalitarian society created by Zionist pioneers has been replaced by a dynamic, largely capitalist economy with yawning gaps between rich and poor. Mostly secular at its inception, Zionism has also spawned a rapidly expanding religious sector, some elements of which eschew the Jewish state.

About a fifth of Israel’s population is non-Jewish, and though some communities (such as the Druse) are intensely patriotic and often serve in the army, others are much less so, and some even call for Israel’s dissolution. And there is the issue of Judea and Samaria—what most of the world calls the West Bank—an area twice used to launch wars of national destruction against Israel but which, since its capture in 1967, has proved painfully divisive.

Many Zionists insist that these territories represent the cradle of Jewish civilization and must, by right, be settled. But others warn that continued rule over the West Bank’s Palestinian population erodes Israel’s moral foundation and will eventually force it to choose between being Jewish and remaining democratic.

Yet the most searing of Zionism’s unfulfilled visions was that of a state in which Jews could be free from the fear of annihilation. The army imagined by Theodor Herzl, Zionism’s founding father, marched in parades and saluted flag-waving crowds. The Israel Defense Forces, by contrast, with no time for marching, much less saluting, has remained in active combat mode since its founding in 1948. With the exception of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the ideological forbear of today’s Likud Party, none of Zionism’s early thinkers anticipated circumstances in which Jews would be permanently at arms. Few envisaged a state that would face multiple existential threats on a daily basis just because it is Jewish.

Confronted with such monumental threats, Israelis might be expected to flee abroad and prospective immigrants discouraged. But Israel has one of the lower emigration rates among developed countries while Jews continue to make aliyah—literally, in Hebrew, « to ascend »—to Israel. Surveys show that Israelis remain stubbornly optimistic about their country’s future. And Jews keep on arriving, especially from Europe, where their security is swiftly eroding. Last week, thousands of Parisians went on an anti-Semitic rant, looting Jewish shops and attempting to ransack synagogues.

American Jews face no comparable threat, and yet numbers of them continue to make aliyah. They come not in search of refuge but to take up the Zionist challenge—to be, as the Israeli national anthem pledges, « a free people in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem. » American Jews have held every high office, from prime minister to Supreme Court chief justice to head of Israel’s equivalent of the Fed, and are disproportionately prominent in Israel’s civil society.

Hundreds of young Americans serve as « Lone Soldiers, » without families in the country, and volunteer for front-line combat units. One of them, Max Steinberg from Los Angeles, fell in the first days of the current Gaza fighting. His funeral, on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, was attended by 30,000 people, most of them strangers, who came out of respect for this intrepid and selfless Zionist.

I also paid my respects to Max, whose Zionist journey was much like mine. After working on a kibbutz—a communal farm—I made aliyah and trained as a paratrooper. I participated in several wars, and my children have served as well, sometimes in battle. Our family has taken shelter from Iraqi Scuds and Hamas M-75s, and a suicide bomber killed one of our closest relatives.

Despite these trials, my Zionist life has been immensely fulfilling. And the reason wasn’t Zionism’s successes—not the Nobel Prizes gleaned by Israeli scholars, not the Israeli cures for chronic diseases or the breakthroughs in alternative energy. The reason—paradoxically, perhaps—was Zionism’s failures.

Failure is the price of sovereignty. Statehood means making hard and often agonizing choices—whether to attack Hamas in Palestinian neighborhoods, for example, or to suffer rocket strikes on our own territory. It requires reconciling our desire to be enlightened with our longing to remain alive. Most onerously, sovereignty involves assuming responsibility. Zionism, in my definition, means Jewish responsibility. It means taking responsibility for our infrastructure, our defense, our society and the soul of our state. It is easy to claim responsibility for victories; setbacks are far harder to embrace.

But that is precisely the lure of Zionism. Growing up in America, I felt grateful to be born in a time when Jews could assume sovereign responsibilities. Statehood is messy, but I regarded that mess as a blessing denied to my forefathers for 2,000 years. I still feel privileged today, even as Israel grapples with circumstances that are at once perilous, painful and unjust. Fighting terrorists who shoot at us from behind their own children, our children in uniform continue to be killed and wounded while much of the world brands them as war criminals.

Zionism, nevertheless, will prevail. Deriving its energy from a people that refuses to disappear and its ethos from historically tested ideas, the Zionist project will thrive. We will be vilified, we will find ourselves increasingly alone, but we will defend the homes that Zionism inspired us to build.

The Israeli media have just reported the call-up of an additional 16,000 reservists. Even as I write, they too are mobilizing for active duty—aware of the dangers, grateful for the honor and ready to bear responsibility.

Mr. Oren was Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013. He holds the chair in international diplomacy at IDC Herzliya in Israel and is a fellow at the Atlantic Council. His books include « Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East » and « Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present. »

Pour la défense du sionisme
L’idéologie souvent honnie qui a donné naissance à Israël est un succès historique étonnant.
Michael B. Oren

Wall Street Journal

Traduction française JSSNews

Ils sont venus de tous les coins du pays – banquiers, agriculteurs, informaticiens, batteurs de jazz, professeurs de botanique, mécaniciens – ils ont quitté leurs emplois et de leurs familles. Ils ont endossé leurs uniformes, toujours trop serrés ou trop amples, ont signé pour leur équipement et leur fusil. Ensuite, entassés dans des véhicules militaires, 70 000 réservistes – femmes et hommes – ont rejoint les jeunes conscrits de la plus grande armée de citoyens du monde. Ils savent tous que certains d’entre eux reviendront estropiés ou ne reviendront pas du tout. Et pourtant, sans hésitation ni plainte, répondant fièrement à l’appel, les Israéliens se dressent, prêts à défendre leur nation. A risquer leur vie pour un idéal.

Cet idéal est le sionisme. C’est la conviction que le peuple juif est en droit d’avoir son propre État souverain sur la terre d’Israël. Bien que fondé il y a moins de 150 ans, le mouvement sioniste est né de 4 000 longues années de lien entre le peuple juif et sa patrie historique, un attachement qui a perduré pendant 20 siècles d’exil. C’est pourquoi le sionisme a atteint ses objectifs et qu’il demeure plus que jamais actuel et fort. C’est pourquoi les citoyens d’Israël – l’Etat créé par le sionisme – prennent volontiers les armes. Car ils sont convaincus que leur idéal vaut la peine de se battre.

Pourtant, le sionisme, sans doute plus que toute autre idéologie contemporaine, est diabolisé. « Tous les sionistes sont des cibles légitimes partout dans le monde! » énonce une bannière récemment brandie par des manifestants anti-Israël au Danemark. « Les chiens sont admis dans cet établissement, mais pas les sionistes, en aucune circonstance », prévient une pancarte à la fenêtre d’un café belge. On a dit à un manifestant juif en Islande : « Toi porc sioniste, je vais te couper la tête. »

Dans certains milieux universitaires et médiatiques, le sionisme est synonyme de colonialisme et d’impérialisme. Les critiques d’extrême droite et gauche le comparent au racisme ou, pire, au nazisme. Et cela en Occident. Au Moyen-Orient, le sionisme est l’abomination ultime – le produit d’un Holocauste que beaucoup dans la région nient avoir jamais existé, ce qui ne les empêche pas de maintenir que les sionistes l’ont bien mérité.

Qu’est-ce qui, dans ​​le sionisme, suscite un tel dégoût ? Après tout, le désir d’un peuple dispersé d’avoir son propre Etat ne peut être si révulsif, surtout sachant que ce même peuple a enduré des siècles de massacres et d’expulsions, qui ont atteint leur paroxysme dans le plus grand assassinat de masse de l’histoire. Peut-être la révulsion envers le sionisme découle-t-elle de sa mixture inhabituelle d’identité nationale, de religion et de fidélité à une terre. Le Japon s’en rapproche le plus, mais malgré son passé rapace, le nationalisme japonais ne suscite pas la révulsion provoquée par le sionisme.

Il est clair que l’antisémitisme, dans ses versions européenne et musulmane, joue un rôle. Fauteurs de cabales, faucheurs d’argent, conquérants du monde et assassins de bébés – toutes ces diffamations autrefois jetées à la tête des Juifs le sont aujourd’hui à celle des sionistes. Et à l’image des capitalistes antisémites qui voyaient tous les Juifs comme des communistes et des communistes pour qui le capitalisme était intrinsèquement juif, les adversaires du sionisme le décrivent comme l’Autre abominable.

Mais tous ces détracteurs sont des fanatiques, et certains parmi eux sont des Juifs. Pour un nombre croissant de Juifs progressistes, le sionisme est un nationalisme militant, tandis que pour de nombreux Juifs ultra-orthodoxes, ce mouvement n’est pas suffisamment pieux – voire même hérétique. Comment un idéal si universellement vilipendé peut-il conserver sa légitimité, ou même prétendre être un succès ?

La réponse est simple : le sionisme a fonctionné. Les chances étaient infimes qu’un groupe dispersé à travers le monde puisse rassembler des membres de quelque 70 pays dans un territoire de la taille d’un ruban, dénué de ressources et riche en adversaires, survivre, et même prospérer. Les chances que ces immigrants se forgent une identité nationale, soient capables de produire une littérature palpitante, des arts de référence et six des plus grandes universités mondiales, étaient proches de zéro.

Ailleurs dans le monde, les langues autochtones sont en voie de disparition, les forêts sont décimées, et les populations des pays industrialisés vieillissent. Pourtant, le sionisme a fait revivre la langue hébraïque, qui est aujourd’hui plus largement parlée que le danois et le finnois et dépassera bientôt le suédois. Les organisations sionistes ont planté des centaines de forêts, faisant entrer la terre d’Israël dans le 21ème siècle avec plus d’arbres qu’à la fin du 19ème. Et les valeurs familiales que le sionisme défend produisent le taux d’accroissement naturel le plus rapide du monde moderne et la plus grande communauté juive de l’histoire. Le couple laïc moyen en Israël a au moins trois enfants, chacun étant une preuve vivante que le sionisme est confiant en l’avenir.

En effet, dans presque tous les critères internationaux, Israël n’est pas seulement victorieux, mais florissant. Sa population est chaque année classée parmi les plus heureuses, les plus saines et les plus éduquées du monde. L’espérance de vie en Israël, qui reflète son excellent système de santé universel, dépasse largement celle des Etats-Unis et de la plupart des pays européens. Le chômage est faible, l’économie robuste. Chef de file mondial en matière d’innovation, Israël est le foyer de centres R & D de 300 entreprises de haute technologie, y compris Apple, Intel et Motorola. Les plages sont prises d’assaut, la musique rock géniale et la nourriture exquise.

Les idéaux démocratiques inhérents à la pensée sioniste ont résisté aux pressions qui ont déclenché coups d’Etat et révolutions dans de nombreux autres pays. Aujourd’hui, Israël est l’un des rares Etats – avec la Grande-Bretagne, le Canada, la Nouvelle-Zélande et les Etats-Unis – n’ayant pas connu une seconde de gouvernance non démocratique.

Ces réalisations seraient suffisamment étonnantes si elles avaient eu lieu en Amérique du Nord ou en Europe du Nord. Mais le sionisme a prospéré dans l’environnement extrêmement inhospitalier –même meurtrier – du Moyen-Orient. A deux heures de route à l’est des boîtes de nuit animées de Tel Aviv – à une distance inférieure de celle entre New York et Philadelphie – se trouve la Jordanie, qui a accueilli plus d’un demi-million de réfugiés de la guerre civile syrienne. A quatre heures de route depuis le nord de Tel-Aviv, vous êtes à Damas, ravagé par la guerre, et vers l’est, dans le carnage de l’ouest de l’Irak. Vers le sud, dans la distance de San Francisco à Los Angeles, vous vous trouvez à la place Tahrir du Caire.

Dans une région envahie de conflits ethniques et de massacres religieux, le sionisme a engendré une société multiethnique, multiraciale et pluriconfessionnelle. Les Arabes servent dans les Forces de défense israéliennes, à la Knesset et à la Cour suprême. Alors que les communautés chrétiennes du Moyen-Orient sont régulièrement éradiquées, celles d’Israël continuent de croître. Les Arabes chrétiens sont, en fait, en moyenne plus instruits et plus riches que les Juifs israéliens.

Compte tenu de ces réalisations monumentales, on pourrait penser que le sionisme serait admiré plutôt que critiqué. Mais le sionisme accusés d’obstruer les aspirations nationales des habitants autochtones de la Palestine, de les opprimer et de les déposséder.

Peu importe que les Juifs peuplaient cette terre – ses noms de lieux arabes révèlent des origines hébraïques – des millénaires avant les Palestiniens ou la montée du nationalisme palestinien. Peu importe que, en 1937, 1947, 2000 et 2008, les Palestiniens aient reçu des propositions de diviser la terre et les ont rejetées, généralement avec violence. Et peu importe que la majorité des partisans du sionisme soient aujourd’hui encore prêts à partager leur patrimoine en contrepartie de la reconnaissance d’un Etat juif et de la paix.

La réponse à ce jour a été, au mieux, un refus de rester à la table de négociation ou, au pire, la guerre. Mais les Israéliens refusent de renoncer à l’espoir d’une reprise des négociations avec le président de l’Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas. Vivre en paix et en sécurité avec nos voisins palestiniens reste le rêve sioniste.

Pourtant, malgré ses triomphes, sa capacité de résistance et son ouverture à la paix, le sionisme n’a pas réalisé certains de ses objectifs initiaux. La société égalitaire agraire créée par les pionniers sionistes a été remplacée par une économie dynamique, en grande partie capitaliste, creusant le fossé entre les riches et les pauvres. Partiellement laïc à ses débuts, le sionisme a également donné naissance à un secteur religieux en pleine expansion, dont certains éléments rejettent l’Etat juif.

Environ un cinquième de la population d’Israël est non-juive, et même si certaines communautés (comme les Druzes) sont intensément patriotiques et servent souvent dans l’armée, d’autres le sont beaucoup moins, et certaines appellent même à la dissolution d’Israël. Et il y a la question de la Judée-Samarie – généralement appelée la Cisjordanie – autrefois lieu de déclenchement de guerres de destruction nationale contre Israël, mais qui, depuis son annexion en 1967, divise le peuple.

Nombre de sionistes maintiennent que ces territoires représentent le berceau de la civilisation juive et doivent, de droit, être peuplés. Mais d’autres avertissent que ce contrôle de la population palestinienne de Cisjordanie érode le fondement moral d’Israël et finira par forcer à faire un choix entre être juif et rester démocratique.

Pourtant, la vision du sionisme qui ne s’est douloureusement pas réalisée est celle que les Juifs puissent être libérés de la peur d’être anéantis. L’armée imaginée par Théodore Herzl, fondateur du sionisme, devait parader dans les défilés et saluer la foule agitant des drapeaux. Les Forces de défense israéliennes, en revanche, n’ont pas le temps de défiler, encore moins de saluer, consacrées depuis leur fondation en 1948 à défendre leur pays sans relâche. A l’exception de Vladimir Jabotinsky, le père du Likoud, aucun des pionniers du sionisme n’avait prévu que les nouveaux Juifs devraient toujours être prêts à prendre les armes. Ils n’avaient pas envisagé que cet Etat serait constamment en butte à de multiples menaces existentielles, pour la simple raison qu’il est juif.

Face à de telles menaces monumentales, on devait voir les Israéliens fuir à l’étranger et les immigrants potentiels baisser les bras. Israël connaît un des taux d’émigration les plus faibles parmi les pays développés et les Juifs continuent à faire leur aliya, littéralement, en hébreu, « monter » à Israël. Les enquêtes montrent que les Israéliens restent obstinément optimistes quant à l’avenir de leur pays. Et les Juifs continuent d’affluer, en particulier d’Europe, où leur sécurité s’est rapidement détériorée. La semaine dernière, des milliers de Parisiens ont manifesté aux sons d’une diatribe antisémite, pillé des magasins juifs et tenté de saccager des synagogues.

Les Juifs américains ne connaissent pas de menace comparable, et pourtant nombre d’entre eux continuent à faire leur aliya. Ils ne viennent pas à la recherche d’un refuge, mais pour relever le défi sioniste, évoqué dans l’hymne national israélien, « être un peuple libre sur notre terre, la terre de Sion et de Jérusalem. »

Des centaines de jeunes Américains sont des « soldats seuls », sans aucune famille dans le pays, et se portent volontaires aux premières lignes des unités combattantes. L’un d’eux, Max Steinberg de Los Angeles, est tombé aux premiers jours des combats à Gaza. Ses funérailles, au Mont Herzl à Jérusalem, ont réuni 30 000 personnes, la plupart d’entre eux des étrangers, venus par respect pour ce sioniste intrépide et altruiste.

J’ai aussi rendu hommage à Max, dont l’épopée sioniste ressemble beaucoup à la mienne. Après avoir travaillé dans un kibboutz, j’ai fait mon aliya, et suivi une formation de parachutiste. J’ai participé à plusieurs guerres, et mes enfants ont servi dans les rangs de l’armée, et parfois combattu. Notre famille s’est abritée des Scuds irakiens et des M-75 du Hamas, et un terroriste suicide a assassiné l’un de nos proches parents.

Malgré ces épreuves, ma vie sioniste est extrêmement enrichissante. Et non grâce aux succès de cette idéologie – les prix Nobel remportés par des chercheurs israéliens, les remèdes israéliens aux maladies chroniques ou les percées dans les énergies alternatives. Mais, paradoxalement, grâce à ses échecs.

L’échec est le prix de la souveraineté. Gouverner signifie faire des choix difficiles et souvent angoissants – attaquer le Hamas dans les zones peuplées, par exemple, ou de subir des tirs de roquettes sur notre propre territoire. Il faut concilier entre notre désir d’être éclairé et celui de rester en vie. Souvent en payant le prix, la souveraineté implique d’assumer ses responsabilités. Le sionisme, pour moi, est une responsabilité juive. Il signifie endosser la responsabilité de notre infrastructure, de notre défense, de notre société et de l’âme de notre Etat​​. Il est facile de s’attribuer les victoires ; beaucoup plus difficile d’assumer les échecs.

Mais c’est précisément l’attrait du sionisme. En grandissant en Amérique, j’étais reconnaissant d’être né à une époque où les Juifs peuvent assumer des responsabilités souveraines. Gouverner est chaotique, mais ce chaos est une bénédiction refusée à mes ancêtres depuis 2 000 ans. Et je ressens toujours ce privilège aujourd’hui, même si Israël est face à une situation à la fois périlleuse, douloureuse et injuste. Même s’il lutte contre des terroristes qui tirent en se cachant derrière leurs propres enfants, même si nos enfants en uniformes sont tués et blessés, tandis que le monde les traite de criminels de guerre.

Le sionisme, néanmoins, vaincra. Tirant son énergie d’un peuple qui refuse de disparaître et sa philosophie d’idéaux qui ont fait leurs preuves historiquement, le projet sioniste prospérera. Nous serons honnis, nous nous retrouverons de plus en plus seuls, mais nous défendrons les maisons que ce sionisme nous a poussés à construire.

Par M. Oren – Wall Street Journal – Traduction JSSNews

M. Oren était l’ambassadeur d’Israël aux États-Unis de 2009 à 2013. Il est titulaire de la chaire de diplomatie internationale au IDC Herzliya en Israël et est membre du Conseil de l’Atlantique. Parmi ses livres, “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, et “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present.”

Voir enfin:

Les images manquantes de la guerre contre le Hamas

En coopérant à la censure médiatique du Hamas sur ses combattants, la presse internationale ne relate qu’une partie de l’histoire

Uriel Heilman

Times of Israel

1 août 2014

On ne manque pas d’images du conflit de Gaza.

Nous avons vu les décombres, les enfants palestiniens morts, les Israéliens courir aux abris pendant les attaques de roquettes, les manœuvres israéliennes et les images fournies par l’armée israélienne des militants du Hamas sortant de tunnels pour attaquer les soldats israéliens.

Nous n’avons pratiquement pas vu aucune image d’hommes armés du Hamas à Gaza.

Nous savons qu’ils sont là : il y a bien quelqu’un qui doit se charger de lancer les roquettes sur Israël (plus de 2 800) et de les tirer sur les troupes israéliennes dans Gaza. Pourtant, jusqu’à maintenant, les seules images que nous avons vues (ou dont nous avons même entendu parler) sont les vidéos fournies par l’armée israélienne de terroristes du Hamas utilisant les hôpitaux, les ambulances, les mosquées, les écoles (et les tunnels) pour lancer des attaques contre des cibles israéliennes ou transporter des armes autour de Gaza.

Pourquoi n’avons nous pas vu des photographies prises par des journalistes d’hommes du Hamas dans Gaza ?

Nous savons que le Hamas ne veut pas que le monde voit les hommes armés palestiniens en train de lancer de roquettes ou utilisant des lieux peuplés de civils comme des bases d’opération. Mais si l’on peut voir des images des deux côtés pratiquement dans toutes les guerres, en Syrie, en Ukraine, en Irak, pourquoi Gaza fait-elle figure d’exception ?

Si des journalistes sont menacés et intimidés lorsqu’ils essaient de documenter les activités du Hamas dans Gaza, leurs agences de presse devraient le dire publiquement. Elles ne le font pas.

Mardi, le New York Times a publié un article du photographe Sergeï Ponomarev sur ses journées à Gaza. Voici ce que Ponomarev écrit :

C’était une guerre de routine. On part tôt le matin pour voir des maisons détruites la veille. Ensuite on va aux funérailles, ensuite aux hôpitaux parce que plus de personnes blessées arrivent et dans la soirée on retourne voir plus de maisons détruites.

C’était la même chose chaque jour, en passant simplement de Rafah à Khan Younis.

Y-a-t-il des tentatives de documenter les activités du Hamas ?

Si, comme moi, vous vous demandez si le New York Times a envoyé un autre photographe pour couvrir cet aspect de l’histoire : le New York Times n’a pas publié de photos de combattants du Hamas à Gaza, point final. En regardant les trois dernières séries de reportages photographiques du journal sur le conflit, sur un total de 37 images, il n’y en a pas une seule sur un combattant du Hamas.

Dans la série de reportage photo du L.A Times, sur plus de 75 photographies du conflit, il n’y a pas non plus une seule image de combattants du Hamas, selon le Comité américain pour la Précision du reportage au Moyen Orient.

Pour de nombreux spectateurs, le récit de cette guerre doit apparaître très clair : le puissant Israël bombarde des Palestiniens sans défense. C’est compréhensible lorsque l’on ne voit presque aucune photographie des agresseurs palestiniens.

Dans un article du Washington Post de William Booth datant du 15 juillet, l’utilisation du Hamas de l’hôpital Al-Shifa dans la ville de Gaza comme une base opératoire est mentionnée, mais on consacre seulement une demi-phrase dans le huitième paragraphe de l’article.

Le ministre a été refoulé avant qu’il ne puisse atteindre l’hôpital qui est devenu de facto un quartier général pour les dirigeants du Hamas, comme on peut le voir dans les couloirs et les bureaux.

Comme l’a noté Tablet, c’est ce que l’on appelle noyer le poisson.

Dans la même logique, une agence de presse palestinienne a annoncé cette semaine que le Hamas a exécuté des dizaines de Palestiniens suspectés d’avoir collaboré avec Israël la semaine dernière. Le JTA a repris cette information, mais elle n’a pas été mentionnée par les grandes agences de presse.

Soit les journalistes et les rédacteurs de chef ne sont pas intéressés à raconter cette partie de l’histoire qui montre ce que le Hamas fait dans Gaza soit ils n’en sont pas capables. Arrêtons-nous sur cette dernière possibilité.

On a beaucoup parlé du côté des soutiens d’Israël d’une décision de Nick Casy du Wall Street Journal d’effacer un tweet au sujet du mode d’utilisation du Hamas de l’hôpital Shifa comme une base d’opérations. On peut supposer que Casy a effacé le tweet à cause des menaces du Hamas soit sur sa personne ou sur sa capacité à continuer à couvrir le conflit.

Un article du Times of Israel suggérait déjà cela plus tôt dans la
semaine :

Plusieurs journalistes occidentaux travaillant actuellement à Gaza ont été harcelés et menacés par le Hamas pour avoir documenté des cas de l’implication par le groupe terroriste de civils dans sa guerre contre Israël, ont déclaré des officiels israéliens en exprimant leur indignation que certains média internationaux se laissent apparemment intimider sans même évoquer ce type d’incidents.

Le Times of Israel a confirmé plusieurs incidents au cours desquels des journalistes ont été interrogés et menacés. Cela incluait des cas où des photographes qui avaient pris des photos de terroristes du Hamas dans des circonstances compromettantes, des hommes armés préparant des tirs de roquettes dans des structures civiles, et/ou des combattants en habits civils, et qui avaient été approchés par des hommes du Hamas, menacés physiquement et on leur avait pris leurs équipements. Un autre cas impliquant un journaliste français avait tout d’abord été annoncé par le journaliste impliqué, mais le récit avait ensuite été retiré d’Internet.

Après avoir quitté Gaza, la journaliste indépendante Gabriele Barbati, dans une série de tweets condamnant le Hamas pour un incident récent avec des victimes civiles, avait soutenu les déclarations que le Hamas menaçait des journalistes :

Sorti de #Gaza loin des représailles du #Hamas : tir de roquette manqué a tué des enfants hier à Shati. Témoin : des militants se sont précipités pour enlever les débris (29 juillet).

Pourquoi peut-on seulement lire des articles sur l’intimidation dans des médias juifs ou israéliens, ou sur des blogs, mais pas dans les grands médias occidentaux ?

Sur son blog Powerline, l’avocat Scott Johnson demande aux agences de presse de remédier à cela :

Les menaces du Hamas ne sont pas responsables de l’ignorance et de la stupidité de la couverture des hostilités à Gaza, mais elles sont en partie responsables. Les journalistes et les médias employeurs coopèrent avec le Hamas non seulement en passant sous silence des histoires qui ne servent pas la cause du Hamas, mais aussi en ne parlant pas des conditions restrictives dans lesquelles ils travaillent.

Ce n’est pas un détail. L’opinion publique est un élément crucial dans ce conflit. Elle va jouer un rôle pour déterminer quand les combats cesseront, à quoi ressemblera le cessez-le-feu et qui portera en priorité la responsabilité pour la mort d’innocents.

Si les grands médias suppriment les images des terroristes du Hamas utilisant des civils comme des boucliers et utilisant des écoles et des hôpitaux comme des bases d’opérations, alors les gens autour du monde auront naturellement du mal à voir les Israéliens comme autre chose que des agresseurs et les Palestiniens comme autre chose que des victimes.

Ils n’ont pourtant qu’une partie de l’histoire. Et d’où je viens, une demi-vérité est considérée comme un mensonge.


Gaza: N’oubliez pas de toujours ajouter l’expression « civil innocent » (Hamas’s Newspeak: Will our media ever understand that all the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza ?)

23 juillet, 2014
http://www.meforum.org/pics/large/529.jpgLaissez les petits enfants, et ne les empêchez pas de venir à moi; car le royaume des cieux est pour ceux qui leur ressemblent. Jésus (Matthieu 19: 14)
Quiconque reçoit en mon nom un petit enfant comme celui-ci, me reçoit moi-même. Jésus (Matthieu 18: 5)
Une civilisation est testée sur la manière dont elle traite ses membres les plus faibles. Pearl Buck
J’ai une prémonition qui ne me quittera pas: ce qui adviendra d’Israël sera notre sort à tous. Eric Hoffer
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie. G.K. Chesterton
Les mondes anciens étaient comparables entre eux, le nôtre est vraiment unique. Sa supériorité dans tous les domaines est tellement écrasante, tellement évidente que, paradoxalement, il est interdit d’en faire état. René Girard
On admet généralement que toutes les civilisations ou cultures devraient être traitées comme si elles étaient identiques. Dans le même sens, il s’agirait de nier des choses qui paraissent pourtant évidentes dans la supériorité du judaïque et du chrétien sur le plan de la victime. Mais c’est dans la loi juive qu’il est dit: tu accueilleras l’étranger car tu as été toi-même exilé, humilié, etc. Et ça, c’est unique. Je pense qu’on n’en trouvera jamais l’équivalent mythique. On a donc le droit de dire qu’il apparaît là une attitude nouvelle qui est une réflexion sur soi. On est alors quand même très loin des peuples pour qui les limites de l’humanité s’arrêtent aux limites de la tribu. (…) Mais il faut distinguer deux choses. Il y a d’abord le texte chrétien qui pénètre lentement dans la conscience des hommes. Et puis il y a la façon dont les hommes l’interprètent. De ce point de vue, il est évident que le Moyen Age n’interprétait pas le christianisme comme nous. Mais nous ne pouvons pas leur en faire le reproche. Pas plus que nous pouvons faire le reproche aux Polynésiens d’avoir été cannibales. Parce que cela fait partie d’un développement historique. (…) Il faut commencer par se souvenir que le nazisme s’est lui-même présenté comme une lutte contre la violence: c’est en se posant en victime du traité de Versailles que Hitler a gagné son pouvoir. Et le communisme lui aussi s’est présenté comme une défense des victimes. Désormais, c’est donc seulement au nom de la lutte contre la violence qu’on peut commettre la violence. Autrement dit, la problématique judaïque et chrétienne est toujours incorporée à nos déviations. (…) Et notre souci des victimes, pris dans son ensemble comme réalité, n’a pas d’équivalent dans l’histoire des sociétés humaines. (…) Le souci des victimes a (…) unifié le monde. René Girard
Je crois que le moment décisif en Occident est l’invention de l’hôpital. Les primitifs s’occupent de leurs propres morts. Ce qu’il y a de caractéristique dans l’hôpital c’est bien le fait de s’occuper de tout le monde. C’est l’hôtel-Dieu donc c’est la charité. Et c’est visiblement une invention du Moyen-Age. René Girard
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la « victime inconnue », comme on dirait aujourd’hui le « soldat inconnu ». Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
Dans le monde moderne, même les ennemis de la raison ne peuvent être ennemis de la raison. Même les plus déraisonnables doivent être, d’une façon ou d’une autre, raisonnables. (…) En cohérence avec cette idée, les socialistes regardaient ce qui se passait outre-Rhin et refusaient simplement de croire que ces millions d’Allemands avaient adhéré à un mouvement politique dont les principes conjuguaient théories paranoïaques du complot, haines à glacer le sang, superstitions moyenâgeuses et appel au meurtre. Les kamikazés étaient certes fous, mais la faute en incombait à leurs ennemis, pas à leurs dirigeants ni à leurs propres doctrines. (…) le nihilisme palestinien ne pouvait signifier qu’une chose: que leur souffrance était encore pire … Paul Berman
Le département de l’information du ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité nationale exhorte les militants sur les sites de médias sociaux, en particulier Facebook, à corriger certains des termes couramment employés en rapport avec l’agression dans la bande de Gaza. La vidéo suivante, du département de l’information, appelle tous les militants à utiliser la terminologie appropriée, pour jouer leur rôle dans le renforcement du front intérieur et transmettre correctement les informations au monde entier. (…) Toute personne tuée ou tombée en martyr doit être appelée « civil de Gaza ou de Palestine », avant de préciser son rôle dans le djihad ou son grade militaire. N’oubliez pas de toujours ajouter l’expression « civil innocent » ou « citoyen innocent » en évoquant les victimes des attaques israéliennes sur Gaza. Commencez [vos rapports sur] les actions de résistance par l’expression « en réponse à la cruelle attaque israélienne », et concluez avec la phrase : « Ces nombreuses personnes sont des martyrs depuis qu’Israël a lancé son agression contre Gaza ». Assurez-vous toujours de maintenir le principe : « Le rôle de l’occupation est d’attaquer, et nous en Palestine sommes toujours en mode réaction ». Attention à ne pas répandre les rumeurs de porte-parole israéliens, en particulier celles qui portent atteinte au front intérieur. Méfiez-vous d’adopter la version de l’occupation [des événements]. Vous devez toujours émettre des doutes [sur leur version], la réfuter et la considérer comme fausse. Évitez de publier des photos de tirs de roquettes sur Israël depuis les centres-villes de Gaza. Cela [servirait de] prétexte pour attaquer des zones résidentielles de la bande de Gaza. Ne publiez pas ou ne partagez pas de photos ou de clips vidéo montrant des sites de lancement de roquettes ou [les forces] du mouvement de résistance à Gaza. (…) ne publiez pas de photos d’hommes masqués avec des armes lourdes en gros plan, afin que votre page ne soit pas fermée [par Facebook] sous prétexte d’incitation à la violence. Dans vos informations, assurez-vous de préciser : « Les obus fabriqués localement tirés par la résistance sont une réponse naturelle à l’occupation israélienne qui tire délibérément des roquettes contre des civils en Cisjordanie et à Gaza »… (…) • Lorsque vous vous adressez à l’Occident, vous devez utiliser un discours politique, rationnel et convaincant, et éviter les propos émotifs mendiant de l’empathie. Certains à travers le monde sont dotés d’une conscience ; vous devez maintenir le contact avec eux et les utiliser au profit de la Palestine. Leur rôle est de faire honte de l’occupation et d’exposer ses violations. • Évitez d’entrer dans une discussion politique avec un Occidental pour le convaincre que l’Holocauste est un mensonge et une tromperie ; en revanche, assimilez-le aux crimes d’Israël contre les civils palestiniens. • Le narratif de la vie comparé au narratif du sang : [en parlant] à un ami arabe, commencez par le nombre de martyrs. [Mais en parlant] à un ami occidental, commencez par le nombre de blessés et de morts. Veillez à humaniser la souffrance palestinienne. Essayez de dépeindre la souffrance des civils à Gaza et en Cisjordanie pendant les opérations de l’occupation et ses bombardements de villes et villages. • Ne publiez pas de photos de commandants militaires. Ne mentionnez pas leurs noms en public, ne faites pas l’éloge de leurs succès dans des conversations avec des amis étrangers ! Directives du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas aux activistes en ligne
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
Cela prouve le caractère de notre noble peuple, combattant du djihad, qui défend ses droits et ses demeures le torse nu, avec son sang. La politique d’un peuple qui affronte les avions israéliens la poitrine nue, pour protéger ses habitations, s’est révélée efficace contre l’occupation. Cette politique reflète la nature de notre peuple brave et courageux. Nous, au Hamas, appelons notre peuple à adopter cette politique, pour protéger les maisons palestiniennes. Sami Abu Zuhri (porte-parole du Hamas, juillet 2014)
Depuis le début de l’opération, au moins 35 bâtiments résidentiels auraient été visés et détruits, entraînant dans la majorité des pertes civiles enregistrées jusqu’à présent, y compris une attaque le 8 Juillet à Khan Younis qui a tué sept civils, dont trois enfants, et blessé 25 autres. Dans la plupart des cas, avant les attaques, les habitants ont été avertis de quitter, que ce soit via des appels téléphoniques de l’armée d’Israël ou par des tirs de missiles d’avertissement. Rapport ONU (09.07.14)
Personne n’évoque les « populations civiles » israéliennes, à croire que tout Israël est un camp militaire et qu’à Gaza, il n’y a que des civils. On ne voit d’ailleurs qu’eux à la T.V. Qui tirent les roquettes et les missiles ? Qui se demande pourquoi les cameramen palestiniens et arabes qui abreuvent le monde de scènes sanguinolentes n’ont jamais montré d’hommes en armes? (…)  Et les traits qui l’ont frappée sont d’un genre unique. La morale et l’humanitarisme ont été fourbis comme des armes. Propres. Morales. Totales. Le discours de la cruauté d’Israël, mis en scène par le Hamas et les télévisions arabes, a été asséné soir et matin en crescendo de l’appel fébrile à sauver un peuple d’un génocide. A Gaza il n’y avait qu’une armée d’enfants, des hôpitaux, des réserves de vivres, des centrales électriques… Shlomo Trigano
Ambulance : camionnette revêtue des insignes du Croissant rouge. Elle a pour fonctions principales : (1) le transport de terroristes vers les lieux d’un attentat, (2) le transport d’armes, (3) l’exhibition télévisée (voir : CNN, BBC, France 2, etc.) au cas où elle a été atteinte par un projectile, et (4), le cas échéant, le transport des blessés (s’en procurer de faux si on n’en a pas de vrais sous la main et arriver à l’hôpital dans un vrai show son et lumière, après avoir prévenu les media susnommées). A ne jamais oublier, plus généralement, dans les mises en scène de douleur palestinienne.
Enfants : futurs suicidés s’ils sont « palestiniens ».
Hamas : organisation charitable ; pourvoyeur de services sociaux pour les Palestiniens ; vecteur de La Rage et de La Frustration. Partisan irréductible de l’extermination des Juifs et d’Israël. Ne traiter le fait que comme exagération rhétorique bien compréhensible de la part des Victimes.
Innocent : catégorie inexistante hors le monde musulman.
Palestinien: (1) bébé phoque de la Gauche européenne et de la Droite bien-pensante. (2) Espèce de victime largement préférée au Tibétain, au Darfourien, à l’Indio et autres. A l’avantage sur les autres d’être corrélatif de la haine du Juif. (3) D’apparition récente, inventé par le Colonel Nasser et fort prisé des régimes arabes et musulmans les jours de sommets diplomatiques. (4) N’est jamais responsable des conséquences de ses actions: c’est toujours la faute des autres.
Proportionnalité: absence de réaction israélienne à une sanglante attaque arabe
Victime : état natif, permanent et éternel du Palestinien. Laurent Murawiec
Tout comme le pacifiste découvre immédiatement l’ennemi chez celui qui n’admet pas sa conception de la paix, les idéologies de la société sans ennemi (par exemple le marxisme) maudissent la guerre, mais préconisent la révolution et exigent que les hommes s’entretuent en vue de mettre la guerre hors-la-loi. On a assez souvent signalé l’imposture que couvre cette attitude et, bien que cet argument appartienne à la polémique courante, il n’est pas inutile de l’évoquer, car il rappelle par trop le ridicule de la querelle hideuse entre Bossuet et Fénelon sur le… pur amour (que n’ont-ils commencé par s’aimer !). La chose la plus grave consiste cependant dans le ressentiment qu’engendre inévitablement la bonne conscience des partisans de ces idéologies : étant donné que leur fin est bonne et hautement humaine, les ennemis ne peuvent être que des criminels ou même l’incarnation du mal (…). C’est ainsi qu’on justifie au nom de l’humanité l’extermination inhumaine des ennemis, car tout est permis pour débarrasser le monde de ces hors-la-loi et hors-l’humanité qui, de ce fait, sont des coupables. Dans ces conditions la notion de paix perd toute signification, étant entendu que politiquement elle consiste en un contrat ou traité, ou plutôt la paix devient impossible. Comment pourrait-il en être autrement, puisque toute action de l’ennemi, fût-elle désintéressée et noble, devient automatiquement perverse, immorale et criminelle, tandis que toute action du révolutionnaire, même scélérate et atroce, devient sainte, juste et irréprochable ? Nier l’ennemi, c’est nier la paix. Il ne faudrait cependant pas jeter la pierre au seul marxisme par exemple, car, par certains côtés, il est un enfant du libéralisme dont l’un des principes essentiels est justement la négation de l’ennemi politique pour ne laisser subsister que les concurrents économiques. (…) On pourrait également montrer que la négation de l’ennemi est contenue dans le fait que la charte des Nations-Unies repose en principe sur une curieuse conception du statu quo. Elle demande aux membres de respecter l’intégrité territoriale des Etats : ce qui signifie que nul Etat ne saurait être amputé par la violence ou annexé de force par un autre. Or quel est le but de toute guerre (en dehors de la guerre civile) ? Ou bien la conquête, c’est-à-dire l’annexion territoriale, ou bien l’indépendance, c’est-à-dire la constitution d’un nouvel Etat qui se détache d’un autre. Si l’O.N.U. condamne la conquête, elle soutient par contre la guerre d’indépendance. Ce propos ne cherche pas à donner tort à l’O.N.U. sur ce point, mais à saisir sans ambages le phénomène de la guerre et à comprendre que certaines théories de la paix sont souvent un bellicisme qui s’ignore. (..) Nous touchons à la lumière de ces exemples, à l’équivoque fondamentale de l’O.N.U. : elle subit pratiquement la réalité de l’ennemi politique tout en le niant théoriquement. Autrement dit, elle reste un haut lieu de la politique, parce qu’elle n’arrive pas et ne peut parvenir à exorciser l’inimitié. Celle-ci demeure à l’arrière-fond de toutes les discussions et les commande, bien qu’on ne veuille pas le reconnaître explicitement. Si nous cherchions des preuves historiques de l’impossibilité d’une politique sans ennemi, nous pourrions entre autres invoquer celle-là. En vérité, une évidence n’a pas besoin de preuves. Ce qui nous paraît déterminant, c’est que la non reconnaissance de l’ennemi est un obstacle à la paix. Avec qui la faire, s’il n’y a plus d’ennemis ? Elle ne s’établit pas d’elle-même par l’adhésion des hommes à l’une ou l’autre doctrine pacifiste, surtout que leur nombre suscite une rivalité qui peut aller jusqu’à l’inimitié, sans compter que les moyens dits pacifiques ne sont pas toujours ni même nécessairement les meilleurs pour préserver une paix existante. On sait aujourd’hui que si les Français et les Anglais avaient eu une autre attitude lors de l’entrée des troupes allemandes dans la zone démilitarisée en 1935, on aurait peut-être réussi à faire tomber Hitler et ainsi empêché la guerre de 1939. Il y a également de fortes chances qu’une action offensive des Alliés les aurait fait passer pour coupables aux yeux de l’opinion mondiale. En général ; on ne connaît qu’après coup l’utilité d’une guerre préventive pour préserver la paix. Julien Freund
L’épouvantable tragédie qui vient de se dérouler dans le ciel de l’Ukraine pousse à réfléchir à de très nombreuses dimensions de l’avenir du monde. Elle confirme d’abord la probabilité du scénario du pire, celui d’un monde sans règle, sans gendarme, dominé par des bandes, politiques ou criminelles. Un monde sans Etat, dont j’ai déjà expliqué ici qu’il ressemblerait à la Somalie, pays sans Etat depuis plus de 20 ans, submergé de seigneurs de la guerre, de prêcheurs de toutes fois et de criminels en tout genre. La « somalisation » est la forme cauchemardesque de la globalisation, quand celle-ci s’installe sans règle de droit, sans police ni justice. C’est bien ce qui se passe aujourd’hui, jusque dans une région qu’on pensait préservée, parce qu’elle est au cœur de l’Europe, l’Ukraine, où des bandes rivales s’opposent, sans que ni l’Etat ukrainien, ni les institutions internationales compétentes, de l’OSCE à la BERD, du Conseil de l’Europe à la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme, ne puissent s’y opposer. La destruction par un missile d’un avion de ligne volant en haute altitude montre que la somalisation, l’anarchie, n’est limitée par rien. Après avoir atteint la mer, au large des côtes somaliennes, elle atteint le ciel, au-dessus de l’Ukraine. On peut craindre que, désormais, aucun avion de ligne ne soit plus à l’abri nulle part au monde. Et d’abord aux abords des aéroports de l’Afrique, où prolifèrent les missiles sol-air à courte portée, depuis l’imprudente action franco-anglaise en Libye. Ces armes de mort peuvent être tirées d’une maison voisine de tout aéroport sur un avion en approche. Si cela se produit une seule fois, ce serait un formidable coup porté à l’économie mondiale. Non seulement aux fabricants d’avions, aux compagnies aériennes, mais aussi à tout le commerce de haute valeur ajoutée, à tous les échanges d’affaires et intellectuels, à tout le tourisme, qui n’existeraient pas sans le transport aérien. Rien ne s’améliorera aussi longtemps que les gens raisonnables penseront que les criminels et les fanatiques obéissent aux mêmes règles qu’eux. Et qu’ils acceptent de leur vendre, de leur confier, ou de laisser entre leurs mains de puissantes armes de mort. Cette attitude est aussi absurde et criminelle que celle qui conduisit le mahatma Gandhi, en juillet 1939 et décembre 1940, à écrire à son « cher ami » Adolf Hitler, pour lui demander d’être raisonnable. Si on se conduit avec les mafias et les mouvements terroristes comme avec des gens raisonnables, c’est le monde entier qui sera bientôt invivable. Jacques Attali
Choses entendues ce lundi 21 juillet sur 2 chaines de TV. LCI: « RAID israélien contre un hôpital palestinien »; France 2: « Un hôpital pris pour cible ». Pas la moindre allusion au fait qu’un obus de char peut frapper par erreur un bâtiment civil, ou (ce qui s’est déjà produit), qu’une rampe de lancement de missile du Hamas, ou un tireur palestinien armé d’un lance-missile palestinien aient tiré contre une force israélienne à faible distance de l’aile de l’hôpital touché, s’attirant une réplique guidée électroniquement qui repère automatiquement la source du tir et la détruit. Non, le but recherché, depuis le début de la belligérance anti-israélienne est toujours le même: présenter les soldats de Tsahal comme des monstres assoiffés de sang et tueurs d’enfants. Autre mini-reportage indigne au JT de 20h de France 2 (chaîne nationale de France 2): Le reporter photographe est complaisamment guidé par un médecin (ou un infirmier) au bord des larmes, qui lui présente deux petites filles légèrement blessées en apparence, mais dont l’une, selon le médecin, sera infirme pour la vie (aucun détail sur la nature de la blessure). Puis vient le pire: avec la même mine torturée et sur un ton pathétique, l’employé de l’hôpital raconte devant la caméra, les yeux embués d’émotion: « Vous voyez cette petite fille (l’une des deux blessées), elle voulait être médecin, et maintenant quand on lui demande ce qu’elle fera plus tard, elle dit ‘FABRIQUER DES BOMBES POUR LES JETER SUR LES ISRAELIENS! » Dommage pour la médecine. Dommage surtout pour les citoyens israéliens une fois de plus diabolisés et désignés à la vengeance, et aux pires traitements s’ils venaient à tomber aux mains des fanatiques qui dirigent ce peuple. Comment la chaîne nationale peut-elle se faire le relais, le porte-voix d’une pareille insanité, meurtrière de surcroît. Car ce discours de haine et d’incitation n’est pas le fruit de la douleur: il est une composante systématique du récit nationaliste palestinien, taillé sur mesure et illustré par des clichés de guerre et des exhibitions de victimes palestiniennes sanguinolentes (de préférence des enfants), dont le but est de criminaliser le peuple israélien devant l’opinion internationale, de susciter sa colère, et de la rallier à la cause palestinienne, quelles que soient l’horreur des traitements qui seront infligées aux futures victimes israéliennes, dont leurs ennemis veulent la mort. Alors, le ‘bon citoyen’ ‘politiquement correct’ et ‘défenseur des droits de l’homme’, laissera massacrer « les Juifs », en se justifiant à bon compte en ces termes (ou d’autres analogues), en guise d’épitaphe funéraire: « Y z’avaient qu’à pas prendre la Palestine qui n’est pas à eux ni profiter de leur supériorité militaire écrasante pour massacrer les femmes et les enfants palestiniens. » Ah, j’allais oublier: vous avez sans doute remarqué comme les hommes palestiniens – entendez, les combattants du Hamas, sont étrangement absents de ce discours, parce qu’il va de soi que ce n’est pas eux que Tsahal combat, mais les femmes et les enfants! Alors, vous pouvez en être sûrs, on aura depuis longtemps oublié les milliers de missiles tirés depuis des années, de Gaza, sur les villes et les citoyens juifs d’Israël, ainsi que les enlevés, les massacrés, et tout récemment les trois adolescents qui n’avaient ni envahi l’ancienne patrie de leur peuple, ni tué des femmes et des enfants. Normal: ils étaient Juifs, et un juif, même enfant, comme disaient les nazis, cela devient un adulte, un trafiquant ou un ploutocrate et, en Israël, un militaire, donc un tueur. » Je reviendrai plus tard sur la honteuse reculade du gouvernement qui autorise dorénavant les manifestations anti-israéliennes (excusez le lapsus ‘politiquement correct’, je voulais dire ANTIJUIVES !) qu’il avait interdites « fermement », il y a tout juste quelques jours… Menahem Macina
Où sont les routes et les chemins de fer, les industries et les infrastructures du nouvel Etat palestinien ? Nulle part. A la place, ils ont construit kilomètres après   kilomètres des tunnels souterrains, destinés à y cacher leurs armes, et lorsque les choses se sont corsées, ils y ont placé leur commandement militaire. Ils ont investi  des millions dans l’importation et la production de roquettes,  de lance-roquettes, de mortiers, d’armes légères et même de drones. Ils les ont délibérément placés dans des écoles, hôpitaux, mosquées et habitations privées pour exposer au mieux  leurs citoyens. Ce jeudi,  les Nations unies ont annoncé  que 20 roquettes avaient été découvertes dans l’une de leurs écoles à Gaza. Ecole depuis laquelle ils ont tiré des roquettes sur Jérusalem et Tel-Aviv. Pourquoi ? Les roquettes ne peuvent même pas infliger de lourds dégâts, étant presque, pour la plupart,  interceptées par le système anti-missiles « Dôme de fer » dont dispose Israël. Même, Mahmoud Abbas, le Président de l’Autorité palestinienne a demandé : « Qu’essayez-vous d’obtenir en tirant des roquettes ? Cela n’a aucun sens à moins  que vous ne compreniez, comme cela a été expliqué dans l’éditorial du Tuesday Post, que le seul but est de provoquer une riposte de la part d’Israël. Cette riposte provoque la mort de nombreux Palestiniens et  la télévision internationale diffuse en boucle les images de ces victimes. Ces images étant un outil de propagande fort télégénique,  le Hamas appelle donc sa propre population, de manière persistante, à ne pas chercher d’abris lorsqu’Israël lance ses tracts avertissant d’une attaque imminente. Cette manière d’agir relève d’une totale amoralité et d’une stratégie  malsaine et pervertie.  Mais cela repose, dans leur propre logique,  sur un principe tout à fait  rationnel,  les yeux du monde étant constamment braqués sur   Israël, le mélange d’antisémitisme classique et d’ignorance historique presque totale  suscitent  un réflexe de sympathie envers  ces défavorisés du Tiers Monde. Tout ceci mène à l’affaiblissement du soutien à Israël, érodant ainsi  sa  légitimité  et  son droit à l’auto-défense. Dans un monde dans lequel on constate de telles inversions morales kafkaïennes, la perversion du Hamas  devient tangible.   C’est un monde dans lequel le massacre de Munich n’est qu’un film  et l’assassinat de Klinghoffer un opéra (1),  dans lesquels les tueurs sont montrés sous un jour des plus sympathiques.   C’est un monde dans lequel les Nations-Unies ne tiennent pas compte de l’inhumanité   des criminels de guerre de la pire race,  condamnant systématiquement Israël – un Etat en guerre depuis 66 ans – qui, pourtant, fait d’extraordinaires efforts afin d’épargner d’innocentes victimes que le Hamas, lui, n’hésite pas à utiliser  en tant que boucliers humains. C’est tout à l’honneur des Israéliens qui, au milieu de toute cette folie, n’ont  perdu ni leur sens moral, ni leurs nerfs.  Ceux qui sont hors de la région, devraient avoir l’obligation de faire état de cette aberration  et de dire la vérité. Ceci n’a jamais été aussi aveuglément limpide. Charles Krauthammer
Why do citizens of democratic societies enthusiastically embrace one of the world’s most murderous Islamist terror organizations, overtly committed not only to the destruction of a sovereign democracy but also to the subordination of Western values and ways of life to a worldwide Islamic caliphate (or umma)? Not out of a genuine concern for Palestinian wellbeing. For although the « Palestine question » has received extraordinary media coverage for decades to the exclusion of far worse humanitarian and political problems, the truth is that no one really cares about the fate of the Palestinians: not their leaders, who have immersed their hapless constituents in disastrous conflicts rather than seize the numerous opportunities for statehood since the Peel Commission report of 1937; not the Arab states, which have brazenly manipulated the Palestinian cause to their self-serving ends; and not Western politicians, the media, NGOs, human rights activists, and church leaders enticed into self-righteous indignation by any Israeli act of self-defense. Had the Palestinians’ dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other non-Jewish adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does. No one in the international community pays any attention to the ongoing abuse of Palestinians across the Arab world from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, which deprives its 500,000-strong Palestinian population of the most basic human rights from property ownership, to employment in numerous professions, to free movement. Nor has there been any international outcry when Arab countries have expelled and/or massacred their Palestinian populations on a grand scale. The fact that the thoroughly westernized King Hussein of Jordan killed more Palestinians in the course of a single month than Israel had in decades was never held against him or dented his widely held perception as a man of peace. (…) Kuwait’s 1991 slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians who lived and worked in the emirate (and the expulsion of most of its 400,000-strong Palestinian population) passed virtually unnoticed by the international media, as has the murder of thousands of Palestinians in the ongoing Syrian civil war and the reduction of countless others to destitution and starvation. By contrast, any Palestinian or Arab casualty inflicted by Israel comes under immediate international criticism. Take the blanket media coverage of Israel’s military response in Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008- 09, 2012) but not of the original Hezbollah and Hamas attacks triggering it, in stark contrast to the utter indifference to bloodier conflicts going on around the world at the same time. On July 19, 2006, for example, 5,000 Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in what it claimed was an action to « crush » an Islamist threat to its neighbor’s government. A month later, Sri Lankan artillery has pounded territory held by the rebel Tamil Tigers resulting in mass displacement and over 500 deaths, including an estimated 50 children following the Sri Lankan air force’s bombing of an orphanage. But neither of these events gained any media coverage, let alone emergency sessions of the UN Security Council, just as the bloodbath in Iraq at the time, with its estimated 3,000 deaths a month at the hands of Islamist militants sank into oblivion while the world focused on Lebanon, just as the current slaughter in Syria and Iraq is presently ignored. And what about the-then long-running genocide in Darfur, with its estimated 300,000 dead and at least 2.5 million refugees? Or the war in the Congo, with over four million dead or driven from their homes, or in Chechnya where an estimated 150,000- 160,000 have died and up to a third of the population has been displaced, at the hands of the Russian military? None of these tragedies saw the worldwide mass demonstrations as has been the case during the Lebanon and Gaza crises. Nor should we forget that Hezbollah has been implicated in dozens of international terror attacks from Brussels to Buenos Aires. (…) The killing of Jews and the destruction or seizure of their worldly properties is hardly news. For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn’t follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world’s media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute detail of Israel’s « disproportionate » response, but none of the suffering and devastation on the Israeli side. A profoundly depressing state of affairs indeed. But so long as the Palestinians continue to serve as the latest lightning rod against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself without incurring the charge of « disproportionate force » – never directed against any other besieged democracy but evocative of the classic anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as both domineering and wretched, both helpless and bloodthirsty. In the words of the renowned American writer David Mamet, « The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground. » Efraim Karsh
The only way to make sense of Hamas’ behavior is to recognize that its goal is not to stop the killing but to exploit it. That explains why Hamas encouraged Gazans to stand atop targeted buildings and ordered them to stay in areas where Israel had issued pre-invasion evacuation warnings. It also explains why Hamas insists that Israel grant concessions in exchange for a cease-fire. Hamas thinks a cease-fire is a favor to Israel. Given the gross imbalance in casualties, that’s a pretty clear statement that Hamas thinks Gazan deaths should bother Israel more than they bother Hamas. That is just the latest display of Hamas’ warped priorities. Another illustration is its tunnels. It has diverted hundreds of thousands of tons of building materials from civilian projects to tunnel construction. The tunnels to Egypt, which are largely for commerce, are rudimentary. The tunnels to Israel, which are for military attacks, are elaborate. Hamas cares more about hurting Israelis than about helping Gazans. William Saletan
All the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza. Everything about this conflict is asymmetrical—Hamas wears no uniforms and they don’t meet Israeli soldiers on battlefields. With the exception of kaffiyeh scarves, it isn’t possible to distinguish a Hamas militant from a noncombatant pharmacist. In Vietnam, the U.S. military learned guerrilla warfare in jungles. In Gaza, the Jewish state has had to adapt to the altogether surreal terrain of apartment complexes and schoolhouses. There are now reports that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are transporting themselves throughout Gaza in ambulances packed with children. Believe it or not, a donkey laden with explosives detonated just the other day. The asymmetry is complicated even further by the status of these civilians. Under such maddening circumstances, are the adults, in a legal and moral sense, actual civilians? To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely. The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation. What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore. To make matters worse, Gazans sheltered terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside ottoman sofas and dirty diapers. When Israel warned them of impending attacks, the inhabitants defiantly refused to leave. On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets. It also calls your parenting skills into serious question. In the U.S. if a parent is found to have locked his or her child in a parked car on a summer day with the windows closed, a social worker takes the children away from the demonstrably unfit parent. In Gaza, parents who place their children in the direct line of fire are rewarded with an interview on MSNBC where they can call Israel a genocidal murderer. The absurdity of Israel’s Gaza campaigns requires an entirely new terminology for the conduct of wars. « Enemy combatants, » « theater of war, » « innocent civilians, » « casualties of war » all have ambiguous meaning in Gaza. There is nothing casual about why so many Gazans die; these deaths are tragically predictable and predetermined. Hamas builds tunnels for terrorists and their rockets; bomb shelters for the people of Gaza never entered the Hamas leaders’ minds. So much innocence is lost in this citizen army, which serves as the armor for demented leaders and their dwindling arsenal of rockets and martyrs. In Gaza the death toll of civilians is an endgame disguised as a tragedy. It is a sideshow—without death, Hamas has nothing to show for its efforts. Surely there are civilians who have been killed in this conflict who have taken every step to distance themselves from this fast-moving war zone, and children whose parents are not card-carrying Hamas loyalists. These are the true innocents of Gaza. It is they for whom our sympathy should be reserved. The impossibility of identifying them, and saving them, is Israel’s deepest moral dilemma. Thane Rosenbaum
For the moment Israeli ingenuity has shifted the advantage in rocketry to the defense. That may not be the case for very long. Iron Dome has been extremely effective in containing the damage from a barrage of about 2,000 unguided rockets launched from Gaza. Most of these explode harmlessly in empty areas; the few that fly towards targets of value have been taken down with a 90% successs rate. But the advantage may shift back to the offense some time in the next few years. Dr. Uzi Rubin, the architect of Israel’s missile defense, warned last January that Iran and Syria already have GPS-guided ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem Post reported: “This is a strategic threat. Even worse news is coming; ballistic missiles are becoming smart,” he said. In the next five to 10 years, Israel’s enemies will inevitably arm themselves with GPS-guided ballistic missiles such as Scuds, [Rubin] said. “Perhaps Syria already has this capability,” Rubin said. “This can significantly disrupt Israel’s air power. Israel will of course recover. We are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities” via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds, Rubin warned. “It can paralyze Israel’s war economy. And of course, it can inflict massive casualties. I’m not talking about Dresden, but Coventry, perhaps,” he said, referring to cities bombed in World War II. Iron Dome can defend successfully against a handful of rockets fired simultaneously in the general direction of Israeli cities. At some point Israel’s enemies will acquire the capability to fire large salvos of precision-guided weapons at key military or civilian targets and overwhelm the existing defenses. GPS-guided rockets are not that difficult to make. Iron Dome gives Israel a respite, not relief in the long term. Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last. It can protect its citizens from retaliation for the time being. Its right to self-defense is so obvious that Western governments usually hostile to Israeli interests must affirm its right to self-defense. Even the German Left Party (“die Linke”) is split, with some of its leaders attending pro-Israel rallies while others join the largely Muslim demonstrators chanting “Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, Komm heraus und kaempf allein” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone”). It has the tacit (and sometimes not entirely tacit) support of Egypt, not to mention the Gulf states, in its war against Hamas. But it cannot afford a repeat of 2012, after which Hamas rebuilt its weapons capability. Where Hezbollah is concerned, the Chinese proverb applies: Kill the chicken while the monkey watches. The reduction of Hamas has to serve as a deterrent for Hezbollah and Syria, not to mention Iran. Israel’s leaders know this well, and outsiders should be cautious about offering tactical advice. But Israel’s friends must be clear that a “pinpoint operation,” as Secretary of State Kerry demanded inadvertently before an open microphone last weekend, does not serve Israel’s urgent interests. Hamas must be rooted out in depth. David P. Goldman
Pourquoi les guerres d’aujourd’hui semblent-elle plus meurtrières que jamais pour les enfants? Pour un journaliste du New Yorker, c’est parce que «les conflits actuels se déroulent de plus en plus souvent à l’intérieur des frontières qu’entre les Etats; les combats sont désormais dans les rues des villes, envahissant les salles de jeux des maisons et les jardins d’enfants.» Cela fait écho à un autre rapport récent de l’ONU, centré sur l’Afghanistan, qui montre que le nombre de victimes parmi les femmes et les enfants a augmenté l’an dernier plus vite que chez les hommes adultes. La cause? La guérilla faite de bombes artisanales contre les véhicules militaires a fait place à des combats armés dans des zones urbaines densément peuplées. Et pourtant, les guerres sont aujourd’hui moins meurtrières pour les civils qu’elles ont pu l’être par le passé. Mais les violences contre les enfants ne sont plus de simples dégâts collatéraux. Des rapports sur les organisations criminelles d’Amérique centrale montrent qu’elles ciblent les enfants, soit pour les recruter, soit pou s’en servir comme d’un moyen de punir ou d’extorquer leurs parents. Boko Haram sait que son action contre les écolières va lui faire une publicité internationale. Les trois adolescents israéliens qui ont été tués le mois dernier ont été clairement et intentionnellement ciblés, comme ce fut le cas pour l’adolescent palestinien tué en représailles, parce que ce sont des enfants. Dans le cadre de son affrontement avec les forces kurdes, EIIL a délibérément pris pour cible les familles avec enfants. Les forces syriennes ont été accusés de viser délibérément des enfants, etc. Dans un monde où la violence se déplace des champs de batailles pour des armées soutenues par l’État à des affrontements de rues entre communautés, les enfants ne sont pas seulement souvent les victimes, ils sont souvent les cibles. Joshua Keating

La guerre n’est décidément plus ce qu’elle était !

Combattants sans uniforme, combats sans champ de bataille,  dépots d’armes et pas de tirs intallés dans des écoles, jardins d’enfants, mosquées ou hôpitaux,  transports de troupes en ambulance, ânes–suicide …

Armée ennemie qui avertit avant ses frappes avec appels téléphoniques, tracts et coups de semonce, autorités ennemies qui fournissent quotidiennement électricité, nourritures et médicaments ou s’excusent et promettent une enquête lors d’erreurs de tir, responsables politiques ennemis accusés de trop bien protéger leur population

A l’heure où, avec l’inexorable montée des pertes palestiniennes, nos belles âmes, médias et djihadistes du dimanche se déchainent comme à leur habitude contre le seul Israël …

En ces temps étranges où  l’ONU elle-même reconnait à nouveau  la présence de roquettes dans l’une de ses écoles après celles qu’elle s’est empressée de rendre à ses propriétaires pour l’usage que l’on sait …

Et que, contre toutes les provisions du droit de la guerre, le porte-parole du Hamas lui-même a vanté le goût supposé de sa population pour le martyre et la mort en boucliers humains …

Pendant que, quand il ne recourt pas à la plus brutale intimidation, le Hamas publie un manuel de novlangue conseillant à ses activistes en ligne de ne parler que de « civils innocents » et d’éviter de révéler que les roquettes sont tirées de zones civiles …

Comment s’expliquer l’incroyable aveuglement de notre presse bien-pensante devant l’évidence ?

A savoir le détournement systématique et cynique, par le Hamas, des valeurs les plus chères de l’Occident, autrement dit le souci des victimes et la défense du plus faible et notamment des enfants …

Et le fait, comme le rappelle très justement Jacques Attali pour le cas des missiles sur son blog, que « rien ne s’améliorera aussi longtemps que les gens raisonnables penseront, à l’instar du mahatma Gandhi qui écrivait  à son « cher ami » Adolf Hitler pour lui demander d’être raisonnable, que les criminels et les fanatiques obéissent aux mêmes règles qu’eux ?

Hamas’s Civilian Death Strategy
Gazans shelter terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside sofas and dirty diapers.
Thane Rosenbaum
The Wall Street Journal
July 21, 2014

Let’s state the obvious: No one likes to see dead children. Well, that’s not completely true: Hamas does. They would prefer those children to be Jewish, but there is greater value to them if they are Palestinian. Outmatched by Israel’s military, handicapped by rocket launchers with the steady hands of Barney Fife, Hamas is playing the long game of moral revulsion.

With this conflict about to enter its third week, winning the PR war is the best Hamas can hope to achieve. Their weapon of choice, however, seems to be the cannon fodder of their own people, performing double duty in also sounding the drumbeat of Israeli condemnation. If you can’t beat Iron Dome, then deploy sacrificial children as human shields.

Civilian casualties will continue to mount. The evolving story will focus on the collateral damage of Palestinian lives. Israel’s moral dilemma will receive little attention. Each time the ledgers of relative loss are reported, world public opinion will turn against the Jewish state and box Israel into an even tighter corner of the Middle East.

All the ordinary rules of warfare are upended in Gaza. Everything about this conflict is asymmetrical—Hamas wears no uniforms and they don’t meet Israeli soldiers on battlefields. With the exception of kaffiyeh scarves, it isn’t possible to distinguish a Hamas militant from a noncombatant pharmacist. In Vietnam, the U.S. military learned guerrilla warfare in jungles. In Gaza, the Jewish state has had to adapt to the altogether surreal terrain of apartment complexes and schoolhouses.

There are now reports that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are transporting themselves throughout Gaza in ambulances packed with children. Believe it or not, a donkey laden with explosives detonated just the other day.

The asymmetry is complicated even further by the status of these civilians. Under such maddening circumstances, are the adults, in a legal and moral sense, actual civilians? To qualify as a civilian one has to do more than simply look the part. How you came to find yourself in such a vulnerable state matters. After all, when everyone is wearing casual street clothing, civilian status is shared widely.

The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation.

What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore.

To make matters worse, Gazans sheltered terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside ottoman sofas and dirty diapers. When Israel warned them of impending attacks, the inhabitants defiantly refused to leave.

On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations. At that point you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

It also calls your parenting skills into serious question. In the U.S. if a parent is found to have locked his or her child in a parked car on a summer day with the windows closed, a social worker takes the children away from the demonstrably unfit parent. In Gaza, parents who place their children in the direct line of fire are rewarded with an interview on MSNBC where they can call Israel a genocidal murderer.

The absurdity of Israel’s Gaza campaigns requires an entirely new terminology for the conduct of wars. « Enemy combatants, » « theater of war, » « innocent civilians, » « casualties of war » all have ambiguous meaning in Gaza. There is nothing casual about why so many Gazans die; these deaths are tragically predictable and predetermined. Hamas builds tunnels for terrorists and their rockets; bomb shelters for the people of Gaza never entered the Hamas leaders’ minds.

So much innocence is lost in this citizen army, which serves as the armor for demented leaders and their dwindling arsenal of rockets and martyrs. In Gaza the death toll of civilians is an endgame disguised as a tragedy. It is a sideshow—without death, Hamas has nothing to show for its efforts.

Surely there are civilians who have been killed in this conflict who have taken every step to distance themselves from this fast-moving war zone, and children whose parents are not card-carrying Hamas loyalists. These are the true innocents of Gaza. It is they for whom our sympathy should be reserved. The impossibility of identifying them, and saving them, is Israel’s deepest moral dilemma.

Mr. Rosenbaum is a senior fellow who directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at New York University School of Law.

 Voir aussi:

Palestinian Suffering Used to Demonize Israel
As long as Palestinians continue to serve as lightning rod against Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself.
Efraim Karsh
The Jerusalem Post
July 21, 2014

No sooner had Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stop the sustained rocket and missile attacks on its civilian population by the Gaza-based Hamas terror organization than it came under a barrage of international criticism, with tens of thousands of violent demonstrators flocking into the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Sydney, Buenos Aires and New York, among other places, to demand an end to the « Gaza slaughter. »

How can this be? Why do citizens of democratic societies enthusiastically embrace one of the world’s most murderous Islamist terror organizations, overtly committed not only to the destruction of a sovereign democracy but also to the subordination of Western values and ways of life to a worldwide Islamic caliphate (or umma)? Not out of a genuine concern for Palestinian wellbeing. For although the « Palestine question » has received extraordinary media coverage for decades to the exclusion of far worse humanitarian and political problems, the truth is that no one really cares about the fate of the Palestinians: not their leaders, who have immersed their hapless constituents in disastrous conflicts rather than seize the numerous opportunities for statehood since the Peel Commission report of 1937; not the Arab states, which have brazenly manipulated the Palestinian cause to their self-serving ends; and not Western politicians, the media, NGOs, human rights activists, and church leaders enticed into self-righteous indignation by any Israeli act of self-defense.

Had the Palestinians’ dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other non-Jewish adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does. No one in the international community pays any attention to the ongoing abuse of Palestinians across the Arab world from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, which deprives its 500,000-strong Palestinian population of the most basic human rights from property ownership, to employment in numerous professions, to free movement. Nor has there been any international outcry when Arab countries have expelled and/or massacred their Palestinian populations on a grand scale. The fact that the thoroughly westernized King Hussein of Jordan killed more Palestinians in the course of a single month than Israel had in decades was never held against him or dented his widely held perception as a man of peace.

As the supposedly pro-Palestinian journalist Robert Fisk put it in his memoirs, King Hussein was « often difficult to fault. »

Kuwait’s 1991 slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians who lived and worked in the emirate (and the expulsion of most of its 400,000-strong Palestinian population) passed virtually unnoticed by the international media, as has the murder of thousands of Palestinians in the ongoing Syrian civil war and the reduction of countless others to destitution and starvation.

By contrast, any Palestinian or Arab casualty inflicted by Israel comes under immediate international criticism.

Take the blanket media coverage of Israel’s military response in Lebanon (2006) and Gaza (2008- 09, 2012) but not of the original Hezbollah and Hamas attacks triggering it, in stark contrast to the utter indifference to bloodier conflicts going on around the world at the same time. On July 19, 2006, for example, 5,000 Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in what it claimed was an action to « crush » an Islamist threat to its neighbor’s government. A month later, Sri Lankan artillery has pounded territory held by the rebel Tamil Tigers resulting in mass displacement and over 500 deaths, including an estimated 50 children following the Sri Lankan air force’s bombing of an orphanage. But neither of these events gained any media coverage, let alone emergency sessions of the UN Security Council, just as the bloodbath in Iraq at the time, with its estimated 3,000 deaths a month at the hands of Islamist militants sank into oblivion while the world focused on Lebanon, just as the current slaughter in Syria and Iraq is presently ignored.

And what about the-then long-running genocide in Darfur, with its estimated 300,000 dead and at least 2.5 million refugees? Or the war in the Congo, with over four million dead or driven from their homes, or in Chechnya where an estimated 150,000- 160,000 have died and up to a third of the population has been displaced, at the hands of the Russian military? None of these tragedies saw the worldwide mass demonstrations as has been the case during the Lebanon and Gaza crises.

Nor should we forget that Hezbollah has been implicated in dozens of international terror attacks from Brussels to Buenos Aires.

Indeed, the response to its July 18, 1994, terror attack on the Israeli- Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA), a social center catering for Buenos Aires’ large Jewish population, provides an illuminating contrast to the relentless coverage of the 2006 events in Lebanon. It was the worst terror attack in Argentina’s history, killing 100 people and wounding more than 200. More died in this bombing than in any single action in the 2006 Lebanese war. Yet the BBC, which prides itself on the worldwide coverage, didn’t find the atrocity worth mentioning in its evening news bulletin. When confronted with a complaint by the normally timid Board of Deputies, British Jewry’s umbrella organization, the corporation offered an apology of sorts, blaming the omission on a particularly busy day.

What were those daily events that could have possibly diverted the BBC’s attention from the Argentina massacre? A perusal of the papers reveals the British premier of Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Flintstones, attended by the prince of Wales. This was also the day when Gavin Sheerard- Smith, caned and imprisoned for six months in Qatar after being convicted of buying and selling alcohol, returned to Britain professing his innocence, and when David MacGregor, an agoraphobia sufferer jailed for a fortnight for failing to pay poll tax arrears, had his sentenced quashed. An eventful day indeed.

Given the BBC’s indifference to the massacre of Argentinean Jews by Hezbollah, it is hardly surprising that the corporation, along with much of the world’s media, ignored the almost daily rocket attacks by the same group on Israel’s northern border, not to mention the constant outpouring of rockets and missiles from Gaza since the Israeli withdrawal from the territory in 2005.

And why shouldn’t they? The killing of Jews and the destruction or seizure of their worldly properties is hardly news. For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn’t follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world’s media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute detail of Israel’s « disproportionate » response, but none of the suffering and devastation on the Israeli side.

A profoundly depressing state of affairs indeed. But so long as the Palestinians continue to serve as the latest lightning rod against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself without incurring the charge of « disproportionate force » – never directed against any other besieged democracy but evocative of the classic anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as both domineering and wretched, both helpless and bloodthirsty. In the words of the renowned American writer David Mamet, « The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground. »

The author is professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and at the Middle East Forum, and the author most recently of Palestine Betrayed (Yale, 2010).

Voir également:

 

Gaza, Syrie, Afghanistan… Pourquoi les conflits sont-ils si meurtriers pour les enfants?
Joshua Keating
Slate
Traduit par Johan Hufnagel

20.07.2014

Et pourtant, les guerres sont aujourd’hui moins meurtrières pour les civils qu’elles ont pu l’être par le passé.

Les conflits les plus récents —du moins ceux qui ont reçu la plus grande attention internationale— impliquent particulièrement les enfants. Plus de 50 d’entre eux ont déjà été tués dans les frappes israéliennes sur la bande de Gaza, une crise qui, rappelons-le, a commencé avec l’enlèvement et l’assassinat de trois adolescents israéliens. La mort de quatre garçons palestiniens sur une plage de Gaza, comme l’a écrit Anne Barnard du New York Times, «a symbolisé ces attaques aériennes israéliennes dans la bande de Gaza qui tuent des innocents dans ce pauvre et surpeuplé territoire côtier».

Au même moment, ailleurs, les conséquences de la guerre contre la drogue se font particulièrement ressentir sur les enfants qui se trouvent de façon croissante sur la ligne de front. Au Salvador, les meurtres d’enfants ont augmenté tandis que le taux global d’homicide, à la suite d’une trêve dans la guerre des gangs, baissait.

Mentionnons aussi la campagne de terreur conduite par Boko Haram dans le nord du Nigeria, qui a attiré l’attention après l’enlèvement de 223 écolières en avril dernier. La plupart d’entre elles sont toujours entre les mains de la secte.

Le nouveau rapport annuel du Secrétariat général de l’ONU qui examinait la violence contre les enfants en 2013, parle d’un «pic important de meurtres et de mutilation d’enfants dans de nombreux endroits, y compris en Afghanistan et en Irak.» Les Nations Unies ont également enquêté sur plus de 4.000 cas d’enfants soldats recrutés de force.

Pourquoi les guerres d’aujourd’hui semblent-elle plus meurtrières que jamais pour les enfants? Pour un journaliste du New Yorker, c’est parce que «les conflits actuels se déroulent de plus en plus souvent à l’intérieur des frontières qu’entre les Etats; les combats sont désormais dans les rues des villes, envahissant les salles de jeux des maisons et les jardins d’enfants.»

Cela fait écho à un autre rapport récent de l’ONU, centré sur l’Afghanistan, qui montre que le nombre de victimes parmi les femmes et les enfants a augmenté l’an dernier plus vite que chez les hommes adultes. La cause? La guérilla faite de bombes artisanales contre les véhicules militaires a fait place à des combats armées dans des zones urbaines densément peuplées.

Mais les violences contre les enfants ne sont plus de simples dégâts collatéraux. Des rapports sur les organisations criminelles d’Amérique centrale montrent qu’elles ciblent les enfants, soit pour les recruter, soit pou s’en servir comme d’un moyen de punir ou d’extorquer leurs parents. Boko Haram sait que son action contre les écolières va lui faire une publicité internationale.

Les trois adolescents israéliens qui ont été tués le mois dernier ont été clairement et intentionnellement ciblés, comme ce fut le cas pour l’adolescent palestinien tué en représailles, parce que ce sont des enfants. Dans le cadre de son affrontement avec les forces kurdes, EIIL a délibérément pris pour cible les familles avec enfants. Les forces syriennes ont été accusés de viser délibérément des enfants, etc.

Dans un monde où la violence se déplace des champs de batailles pour des armées soutenues par l’État à des affrontements de rues entre communautés, les enfants ne sont pas seulement souvent les victimes, ils sont souvent les cibles.

Voir encore:

Directives du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas aux activistes en ligne : Parlez toujours de « civils innocents »
MEMRI
22 juillet 2014

Dans le cadre des combats qui sévissent dans la bande de Gaza, le ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas publie des lignes directrices à l’attention des utilisateurs des réseaux sociaux qui diffusent des informations sur les événements et en débattent avec des interlocuteurs étrangers.

Les lignes directrices du ministère, intitulées « Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign » [Soyez vigilants – Campagne de sensibilisation pour les activistes des médias sociaux], sont contenues dans une vidéo d’instruction mise en ligne sur son site officiel et annoncée sur ses pages Twitter et Facebook, ses comptes sociaux et ses forums. [1]

Ces directives ont pour objectif de maintenir la ligne du Hamas et d’autres organisations palestiniennes ; d’empêcher la fuite d’informations susceptibles d’avoir une valeur militaire pour Israël ; de renforcer les efforts de propagande du Hamas en dehors de la bande de Gaza, à la fois dans le monde arabe et en l’Occident ; d’éviter de porter atteinte à l’image du Hamas.

Le Hamas cherche notamment à asseoir le sentiment que ses actions ne sont que des représailles à l’offensive israélienne et que toutes les victimes de Gaza sont des « civils innocents ». De même, il tente d’effacer toute preuve montrant que des roquettes ont été tirées à partir de zones d’habitations à Gaza.

La vidéo contenant les directives, mise en ligne sur le site Internet du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas, inclut le texte suivant : « Le département de l’information du ministère de l’Intérieur et de la Sécurité nationale exhorte les militants sur les sites de médias sociaux, en particulier Facebook, à corriger certains des termes couramment employés en rapport avec l’agression dans la bande de Gaza. La vidéo suivante, du département de l’information, appelle tous les militants à utiliser la terminologie appropriée, pour jouer leur rôle dans le renforcement du front intérieur et transmettre correctement les informations au monde entier. » [2]

« Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign » : Vidéo d’instruction publiée sur la page officielle Facebook du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas

Message aux militants Facebook sur le site du ministère de l’Intérieur du Hamas

Voici des extraits des lignes directrices du ministère :

Toute personne tuée ou tombée en martyr doit être appelée « civil de Gaza ou de Palestine », avant de préciser son rôle dans le djihad ou son grade militaire. N’oubliez pas de toujours ajouter l’expression « civil innocent » ou « citoyen innocent » en évoquant les victimes des attaques israéliennes sur Gaza.

Commencez [vos rapports sur] les actions de résistance par l’expression « en réponse à la cruelle attaque israélienne », et concluez avec la phrase : « Ces nombreuses personnes sont des martyrs depuis qu’Israël a lancé son agression contre Gaza ». Assurez-vous toujours de maintenir le principe : « Le rôle de l’occupation est d’attaquer, et nous en Palestine sommes toujours en mode réaction ».

Attention à ne pas répandre les rumeurs de porte-parole israéliens, en particulier celles qui portent atteinte au front intérieur. Méfiez-vous d’adopter la version de l’occupation [des événements]. Vous devez toujours émettre des doutes [sur leur version], la réfuter et la considérer comme fausse.

Évitez de publier des photos de tirs de roquettes sur Israël depuis les centres-villes de Gaza. Cela [servirait de] prétexte pour attaquer des zones résidentielles de la bande de Gaza. Ne publiez pas ou ne partagez pas de photos ou de clips vidéo montrant des sites de lancement de roquettes ou [les forces] du mouvement de résistance à Gaza.

Pour les administrateurs de pages d’informations sur Facebook : ne publiez pas de photos d’hommes masqués avec des armes lourdes en gros plan, afin que votre page ne soit pas fermée [par Facebook] sous prétexte d’incitation à la violence. Dans vos informations, assurez-vous de préciser : « Les obus fabriqués localement tirés par la résistance sont une réponse naturelle à l’occupation israélienne qui tire délibérément des roquettes contre des civils en Cisjordanie et à Gaza »…

En outre, le ministère de l’Intérieur a préparé une série de suggestions destinées aux activistes palestiniens qui dialoguent avec des Occidentaux via les médias sociaux. Le ministère souligne que ces conversations doivent différer des échanges avec d’autres Arabes :

• Lorsque vous vous adressez à l’Occident, vous devez utiliser un discours politique, rationnel et convaincant, et éviter les propos émotifs mendiant de l’empathie. Certains à travers le monde sont dotés d’une conscience ; vous devez maintenir le contact avec eux et les utiliser au profit de la Palestine. Leur rôle est de faire honte de l’occupation et d’exposer ses violations.

• Évitez d’entrer dans une discussion politique avec un Occidental pour le convaincre que l’Holocauste est un mensonge et une tromperie ; en revanche, assimilez-le aux crimes d’Israël contre les civils palestiniens.

• Le narratif de la vie comparé au narratif du sang : [en parlant] à un ami arabe, commencez par le nombre de martyrs. [Mais en parlant] à un ami occidental, commencez par le nombre de blessés et de morts. Veillez à humaniser la souffrance palestinienne. Essayez de dépeindre la souffrance des civils à Gaza et en Cisjordanie pendant les opérations de l’occupation et ses bombardements de villes et villages.

• Ne publiez pas de photos de commandants militaires. Ne mentionnez pas leurs noms en public, ne faites pas l’éloge de leurs succès dans des conversations avec des amis étrangers !

Voir encore:

La somalisation du ciel
Jacques Attali
21 juillet 2014
L’épouvantable tragédie qui vient de se dérouler dans le ciel de l’Ukraine pousse à réfléchir à de très nombreuses dimensions de l’avenir du monde.

Elle confirme d’abord la probabilité du scénario du pire, celui d’un monde sans règle, sans gendarme, dominé par des bandes, politiques ou criminelles. Un monde sans Etat, dont j’ai déjà expliqué ici qu’il ressemblerait à la Somalie, pays sans Etat depuis plus de 20 ans, submergé de seigneurs de la guerre, de prêcheurs de toutes fois et de criminels en tout genre. La « somalisation » est la forme cauchemardesque de la globalisation, quand celle-ci s’installe sans règle de droit, sans police ni justice.

C’est bien ce qui se passe aujourd’hui, jusque dans une région qu’on pensait préservée, parce qu’elle est au cœur de l’Europe, l’Ukraine, où des bandes rivales s’opposent, sans que ni l’Etat ukrainien, ni les institutions internationales compétentes, de l’OSCE à la BERD, du Conseil de l’Europe à la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme, ne puissent s’y opposer.

La destruction par un missile d’un avion de ligne volant en haute altitude montre que la somalisation, l’anarchie, n’est limitée par rien. Après avoir atteint la mer, au large des côtes somaliennes, elle atteint le ciel, au-dessus de l’Ukraine. On peut craindre que, désormais, aucun avion de ligne ne soit plus à l’abri nulle part au monde. Et d’abord aux abords des aéroports de l’Afrique, où prolifèrent les missiles sol-air à courte portée, depuis l’imprudente action franco-anglaise en Libye. Ces armes de mort peuvent être tirées d’une maison voisine de tout aéroport sur un avion en approche. Si cela se produit une seule fois, ce serait un formidable coup porté à l’économie mondiale. Non seulement aux fabricants d’avions, aux compagnies aériennes, mais aussi à tout le commerce de haute valeur ajoutée, à tous les échanges d’affaires et intellectuels, à tout le tourisme, qui n’existeraient pas sans le transport aérien.

Rien ne s’améliorera aussi longtemps que les gens raisonnables penseront que les criminels et les fanatiques obéissent aux mêmes règles qu’eux. Et qu’ils acceptent de leur vendre, de leur confier, ou de laisser entre leurs mains de puissantes armes de mort. Cette attitude est aussi absurde et criminelle que celle qui conduisit le mahatma Gandhi, en juillet 1939 et décembre 1940, à écrire à son « cher ami » Adolf Hitler, pour lui demander d’être raisonnable. Si on se conduit avec les mafias et les mouvements terroristes comme avec des gens raisonnables, c’est le monde entier qui sera bientôt invivable.

Il faut d’urgence en tirer cinq conséquences, pour lancer cinq actions. Elles supposent une mobilisation planétaire des grands pays. Elles sont possibles.

1.                 Mettre en place d’urgence une réglementation très rigoureuse et planétaire des routes aériennes, qui s’imposerait à toutes les compagnies aériennes. Il serait fou qu’on puisse le faire pour le football et pas pour la sécurité.

2.                 Lancer une vaste campagne, politique, financière, militaire, pour récupérer tous les missiles sol-air qui sont encore dispersés entre des mains privées à travers le monde. On l’a fait pour d’autres armes, avec succès.

3.                 Plus généralement, mettre au ban des nations tout pays qui vendrait de telles armes à des mouvements séparatistes ou des marchands privés.

Puis, plus spécifiquement, pour l’Europe :

4.                 Renforcer les institutions (de la BERD à l’OSCE en passant par le Conseil de l’Europe) qui rassemblent tous les Européens, c’est-à-dire les membres de l’Union européenne, les Turcs, les Russes et les Ukrainiens.

5.                 Mettre en place une organisation sérieuse de la sécurité en Europe rassemblant tous ces pays, sans être pour autant inféodée aux Etats-Unis, dont les intérêts sont différents.

Je sais qu’une fois de plus, rien de tout cela ne sera fait. Sauf, peut-être, une fois de plus, après la catastrophe, et pas à la place.

Voir encore:

How to Save Gaza
And keep Israel and Hamas from fighting the next war.
William Saletan
Slate
July 22 2014
After two weeks of protests and denunciations, it’s time to acknowledge that outrage won’t end the war in Gaza. The most plausible way to stop this cycle of violence is through internationally supervised demilitarization. Amid so much death and destruction that may seem utterly hopeless. But in fact, many of the tools we need are already in place. Here’s an analysis of the problem and how to fix it.
1. Gazans have no government to protect them. Every day, more civilians die in Gaza. Israel, the country that’s killing them, has agreed to cease-fire proposals. But Hamas, which controls Gaza (though many of its political leaders don’t even live there), rejects these proposals and continues to fire rockets into Israel. You can argue that the rockets justify Israel’s attacks or that they serve merely as a pretext. Either way, they get more Gazans killed.

The only way to make sense of Hamas’ behavior is to recognize that its goal is not to stop the killing but to exploit it. That explains why Hamas encouraged Gazans to stand atop targeted buildings and ordered them to stay in areas where Israel had issued pre-invasion evacuation warnings. It also explains why Hamas insists that Israel grant concessions in exchange for a cease-fire. Hamas thinks a cease-fire is a favor to Israel. Given the gross imbalance in casualties, that’s a pretty clear statement that Hamas thinks Gazan deaths should bother Israel more than they bother Hamas.

That is just the latest display of Hamas’ warped priorities. Another illustration is its tunnels. It has diverted hundreds of thousands of tons of building materials from civilian projects to tunnel construction. The tunnels to Egypt, which are largely for commerce, are rudimentary. The tunnels to Israel, which are for military attacks, are elaborate. Hamas cares more about hurting Israelis than about helping Gazans.
2. The absence of a protector in Gaza has worsened Israel’s behavior. Israel knows from experience that invading and occupying Gaza is bad for Israel. During the present conflict Israel has signaled its willingness to stop, first by unilaterally honoring Egypt’s cease-fire proposal, then by postponing a ground invasion. But Hamas has pressed on, daring Israel to go further. Hamas has pressed on, daring Israel to go further. Israel has unwisely accepted the dare.
Israel has unwisely accepted the dare. Its mission has expanded from bombing the rocket launchers to destroying the tunnels. Predictably, the number of tunnels has grown. The number found so far ranges from 23 to 45. One report, based on infrared satellite imagery, says there might be 60 or more. Now the fighting has spread to Hamas’ suppliers—on Friday there was a mysterious strike in Sudan—and Israeli hawks are talking about recapturing the Gaza-Egypt border. There’s always another mission you can add to make Gaza “safer.”
Worse, Israel has adopted Hamas’ use of human shields as a blanket excuse for civilian deaths. It’s true that Hamas has used civilians this way, putting its rockets in schools, mosques, and hospitals, for example. But Israel has twisted these case-by-case abuses into a categorical claim that every civilian death is Hamas’ fault. This kind of thinking inherently corrupts an invading army. Now some Israeli government ministers are calling for sweeping measures against Gaza, such as cutting off its electricity. The line between fighting Hamas and fighting Gaza is blurring.
3. Israelis have lost faith in a military solution. Since withdrawing its troops from Gaza in 2005 (but maintaining control over Gaza’s borders, coast, and airspace), Israel has fought three wars there. By now, almost no one in Israel, other than the far-right fringe, believes force will stamp out Hamas or teach it a lasting lesson. The missiles get restocked, the tunnels get rebuilt, and every dead Hamas fighter is replaced by at least one more. Israel’s callous phrase for its periodic operations in Gaza—“mowing the grass”—is a confession that force doesn’t work. Israelis expect that after this war, they’ll be at it again within two years.
Each time, the futility becomes clearer. Gaza is so densely populated that you can’t bomb it without killing civilians, and you can’t send in ground forces without getting bogged down in the kind of urban warfare that spells death for invading troops. More than two dozen Israeli soldiers have already died in this operation, and one is missing. If Hamas captures another Gilad Shalit, it could easily extract concessions that would make the invasion a net loss for Israel.
4. There’s an obvious candidate to take over Gaza. Seven years ago, after winning a parliamentary election, Hamas seized military control of Gaza from Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. But times have changed. The Hamas regime is bankrupt, and Abbas, who preaches nonviolence, is the one with access to international agencies and donors. That’s why Hamas agreed in April to form a unity government controlled by Abbas.
Here’s where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a wrong turn. He halted peace talks with Abbas, denounced the merger, and did everything possible to sabotage it. That was stupid, because if anyone can coax Hamas toward a more rational style of government, it’s Abbas. Israelis grouse about Abbas, but he has done a lot to merit their trust. His security forces in the West Bank have cooperated with Israel even when it angers Palestinians.
Abbas would restore a government in Gaza that protects the people. He’s already coaching Hamas on how to respond more intelligently to the Israeli bombardment. (First step: Accept a cease-fire.) He’s meeting with officials from Egypt and other countries, who can help Gaza but have been spurned by Hamas. In effect, he’s being treated internationally as Hamas’ adult supervisor. And Hamas is beginning to listen.
5. The pieces of a solution are in place. Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians are converging on a proposal by Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s former defense minister, to demilitarize Gaza in exchange for $50 billion in aid. That’s nearly 30 times Gaza’s GDP, but it’s not a lot to ask from international donors, who might find it a better use of their money than paying for reconstruction after another Gaza war. (The damage from the last two weeks alone will cost $3 billion.)
A credible international coalition would have to oversee the demilitarization. That’s a useful mission to propose to the many countries that have expressed outrage over the carnage in Gaza: Put your soldiers and your money where your mouth is. (The European Union reaffirmed this commitment on Tuesday: “All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.”) Meanwhile, Hamas’ chief arms supplier, Iran, would have to be pressured to back off. Fortunately, Iran has been trying to rebuild good will and is in the midst of productive talks with the United States, to which this issue could be added.
Israel would resist yielding control of Gaza, but current conditions make Israeli flexibility more likely. The success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system has given Israelis confidence that if rockets start flying out of Gaza again, they can withstand the barrage without casualties for a while. The election of an Egyptian government hostile to Hamas strengthens Israel’s trust that Gaza’s Egyptian border won’t become an easy channel for importing weapons. Israelis also complain that loosening restrictions in Gaza after a war with Hamas would reward violence. But Israel accepted that tradeoff 20 years ago, when it agreed to the principle of land for peace.
Hamas, too, has essentially accepted this principle. Netanyahu claims that Hamas, like al-Qaida, “has no resolvable grievance.” That’s nonsense. Last week, Hamas issued a long list of demands, in exchange for which it offered Israel a 10-year truce. Many of these demands, such as an airport and the free flow of commerce across borders and the sea, are perfectly negotiable.
Ten years is a long time. If Gaza could go 10 years without another war, and build an economy that looks more like the West Bank, we might not need another deal to keep the peace in place.

Voir de plus:

Why Israel Needs to Finish the Job Now
David P. Goldman
Spengler
July 21st, 2014

There will be endless admonitions to Israel from the Obama administration, the United Nations, and so forth, demanding an early end to the Gaza war now underway. Israel’s security needs dictate the opposite: Hamas’ capacity to make war must be crippled.

Tel Aviv last week remained one of the safest cities in the world despite the incessant rocket bombardment. In the bomb shelters at the David Intercontinental, we joked about the lack of drinks and canapes at the hotel’s hastily improvised guest mixers. The cafe terraces were full every night on Dizengoff Street. But complacency on Israel’s part would be misplaced, perhaps even fatal. For the moment Israeli ingenuity has shifted the advantage in rocketry to the defense. That may not be the case for very long. Iron Dome has been extremely effective in containing the damage from a barrage of about 2,000 unguided rockets launched from Gaza. Most of these explode harmlessly in empty areas; the few that fly towards targets of value have been taken down with a 90% successs rate. But the advantage may shift back to the offense some time in the next few years.

Dr. Uzi Rubin, the architect of Israel’s missile defense, warned last January that Iran and Syria already have GPS-guided ballistic missiles. The Jerusalem Post reported:

“This is a strategic threat. Even worse news is coming; ballistic missiles are becoming smart,” he said. In the next five to 10 years, Israel’s enemies will inevitably arm themselves with GPS-guided ballistic missiles such as Scuds, [Rubin] said.

“Perhaps Syria already has this capability,” Rubin said. “This can significantly disrupt Israel’s air power. Israel will of course recover. We are talking about escalating a war to quicken it, and end it within three days. They are talking about doing the same. This threat can degrade the IDF’s ground capabilities” via accurate missile strikes on army mobilization and staging grounds, Rubin warned. “It can paralyze Israel’s war economy. And of course, it can inflict massive casualties. I’m not talking about Dresden, but Coventry, perhaps,” he said, referring to cities bombed in World War II.

Iron Dome can defend successfully against a handful of rockets fired simultaneously in the general direction of Israeli cities. At some point Israel’s enemies will acquire the capability to fire large salvos of precision-guided weapons at key military or civilian targets and overwhelm the existing defenses. GPS-guided rockets are not that difficult to make. Iron Dome gives Israel a respite, not relief in the long term.

Israel has an extraordinary opportunity that may not last. It can protect its citizens from retaliation for the time being. Its right to self-defense is so obvious that Western governments usually hostile to Israeli interests must affirm its right to self-defense. Even the German Left Party (“die Linke”) is split, with some of its leaders attending pro-Israel rallies while others join the largely Muslim demonstrators chanting “Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, Komm heraus und kaempf allein” (“Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone”). It has the tacit (and sometimes not entirely tacit) support of Egypt, not to mention the Gulf states, in its war against Hamas. But it cannot afford a repeat of 2012, after which Hamas rebuilt its weapons capability. Where Hezbollah is concerned, the Chinese proverb applies: Kill the chicken while the monkey watches. The reduction of Hamas has to serve as a deterrent for Hezbollah and Syria, not to mention Iran.

Israel’s leaders know this well, and outsiders should be cautious about offering tactical advice. But Israel’s friends must be clear that a “pinpoint operation,” as Secretary of State Kerry demanded inadvertently before an open microphone last weekend, does not serve Israel’s urgent interests. Hamas must be rooted out in depth.

Voir encore:

Israel’s arrest of Bedouin man sheds light on Sinai kidnappings of African refugees
Rahat resident allegedly secured ransom payments for gang that abducted Eritrean and Sudanese refugees; Israel Police says ‘well-oiled’ system of kidnappers working in concert with Hebron money changers.
Yanir Yagna

Mar. 25, 2012

A Bedouin resident of southern Israel was charged last week with serving as an accomplice to a criminal organization that kidnapped Eritrean and Sudanese nationals in the Sinai Peninsula and extorted their families for ransom.

The indictment Yusuf al-Qarnawi was presented by Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office Be’er Sheva District Court on Friday and elucidates the alleged inner workings of the gang.

According to the charges, al-Qarnawi was approached in June 2011 by two alleged kidnappers, one a resident of Sinai and the other from the Gaza Strip, who requested his help in picking up ransom from family members of people they had kidnapped.

Al-Qarnawi was allegedly told to call the family and friends of the asylum seekers kidnapped in the Sinai and receive the ransom payment, according to the indictment, after which he handed the money over to the kidnappers.

The indictment states al-Qarnawi accepted five payments monthly between June 2011 and February 2012, for which he was paid $300 for ransom payments of $20,000 or less, and $450 for ransom payment of more than $20,000.

The indictment goes on to elaborate the gang’s alleged mode of operation. In June 2011, they allegedly kidnapped an Eritrean citizen, held him captive with another 70 prisoners, all blindfolded. During his captivity, he was starved, beaten, and forced to call his family and ask that they pay a $25,000 ransom, under threat of death.

Shortly after, al-Qarnawi sent his brother to pick up a $15,000 ransom from the victim’s family. A day later, they allegedly demanded the family hand over an additional $10,000.

In another case presented in the indictment, two Eritrean women were abducted. They were held chained in captivity in a house with another 40 other kidnapped persons. While in captivity, they were starved, beaten with sticks and tortured by electric shock. One the kidnappers raped one of the woman, says the indictment.

The indictment says that the kidnappers demanded $40,000 for each of the women, threatening that were they not to receive the stated ransom in full they would remove their kidneys and sell them instead. To show the families the seriousness of their intent, the kidnappers would call the victims’ families and let them hear their cries. Al-Qarnawi picked up the ransom for these two victims in person.

Commander Moti Asor of the Israel Police Southern District (Lachish Region) Counter Terror Unit, who headed the investigation, explained how the gang worked:

“The Sudanese and Eritrean citizens travel through the Sinai on their way to Israel. In the Sinai there are families that specialize in smuggling. They charge them money to get them across the border, » he said. « About a year ago, these families decided to institutionalize the practice – they started hold the refugees captive and demand ransoms from them ranging between $39,000 to 40,000. »

“The refugees held by them are given an opportunity to call their families and friends in Israel, » said Asor. « At a later point the kidnappers threaten the kith and kin and have them listen to them torture their loved ones.”

“There is a well-oiled system of kidnappers from Gaza and Sinai, working in concert with money changers in Hebron, » he added. « They reached Al-Qarnawi. He was in transport and knew traders in Gaza, that how they found him. They would send him to meetings in Tel Aviv to pick up the money. After the money was received they’d free the prisoner. Al-Qarnawi confessed his part in five cases, but we believe there are many more. There are family members that are afraid to file complaints with the police because they are illegal aliens.”

Voir enfin:

« Tu dois quitter Gaza au plus vite et arrêter de travailler »
Audrey Destouches
Libération
22 juillet 2014

TÉMOIGNAGE Le journaliste palestinien Radjaa Abou Dagga, correspondant de «Ouest France» et ancien collaborateur de «Libération», raconte les tentatives d’intimidation du Hamas.

Correspondant de Ouest France à Gaza et ancien collaborateur de Libération, Radjaa Abou Dagga partage depuis des années son temps entre Paris, où résident sa femme et son fils, et Gaza, où vivent ses parents et où il travaille. Le 18 juin, lorsqu’il veut passer la frontière de Rafah, un officier lui interdit le passage et garde son passeport comme celui de tous les Palestiniens qui tentent de passer en Egypte ce jour-là.

Après quatre semaines bloqué à Gaza sans explications, le journaliste palestinien est convoqué par le service de sécurité du Hamas dimanche dernier. «J’ai reçu l’appel d’un numéro privé. Ils me convoquaient à l’hôpital Al-Shifa, dans le centre de Gaza Ville», explique Radjaa. Il emporte avec lui ses deux téléphones, sa carte de presse et sa petite caméra.

«Es-tu correspondant pour Israël?»
A quelques mètres des urgences où les blessés des bombardements affluent sans cesse, il est reçu dans le service des consultations externes, «une petite section de l’hôpital utilisée comme administration» par une bande de jeunes combattants. «Ils étaient tous bien habillés, s’étonne Radjaa. En civil, avec un pistolet sous la chemise et certains avaient des talkies-walkies». On lui ordonne de vider ses poches, d’enlever ses chaussures et sa ceinture puis il est appelé dans une chambre d’hôpital «qui servait ce jour-là de bureau de commandement à trois personnes».

Un homme tiré à quatre épingles commence son interrogatoire : «Qui es-tu ? Comment t’appelles-tu? Que fais-tu?» «J’étais très surpris par le mode opératoire», avoue Radjaa, qui lui montre sa carte de presse en guise de réponse. Les questions fusent. On lui demande ensuite s’il parle hébreu, s’il a des relations avec Ramallah. Les jeunes partisans du Hamas l’interrogent avec insistance : «Es-tu correspondant pour Israël?» Radjaa répète qu’il travaille uniquement pour des médias français et une chaîne de radio algérienne.

C’est alors qu’un des trois hommes lui délivre ce message : «C’est à toi de choisir. Nous sommes une administration exécutive. Nous te transmettons le message de Qassam. Tu dois rester chez toi et donner tes papiers.» Abasourdi d’être visé par les brigades Ezzedine al-Qassam, la branche armée du Hamas, Radjaa essaie de se défendre et surtout de comprendre pourquoi une telle décision a été prise à son encontre. En vain. «Il est impossible de communiquer avec ces gens-là», déplore le journaliste. Il n’est pas le premier à subir ce genre de pressions et les combattants face à lui ne s’en cachent pas. «Ils sont enragés contre la présidence et m’accusent de collaborer avec Mahmoud Abbas», explique-t-il. Reporters sans frontières confirme que ce n’est pas un cas isolé. L’organisation a en effet été alertée des menaces proférées par le Hamas à l’encontre de journalistes palestiniens ou étrangers en raison de leur activité professionnelle.

«C’est pour ton bien»
L’homme qui semble être le chef le relâche finalement en lui assénant : «C’est pour ton bien mais tu dois quitter Gaza au plus vite. Je ne veux plus te voir ici, tu ne dois plus sortir de chez toi et arrêter de travailler.» Il leur explique qu’il est bien trop dangereux pour lui de rentrer maintenant dans son village d’Abassane Alkabira, près de Khan Younès, dans le sud de la bande de Gaza, mais les envoyés de Qassam ne veulent rien entendre : «Tu la fermes.»

Il est trop tard pour prendre la route, Radjaa décide de passer la nuit au bureau de presse Almanara. Vers 22 heures, il reçoit un appel d’Abouhamza, le propriétaire, qui lui demande de quitter les lieux, Radjaa le convainc de l’y laisser dormir. Abouhamza lui raconte qu’il a lui aussi reçu des menaces : « »Si Radjaa vient, le bureau sera fermé » m’ont-ils dit. On ne joue pas avec ces gens-là pendant la guerre». Au matin, Abouhamza vient s’assurer lui-même de son départ. «Il est pro-Hamas», conclut le journaliste.

Depuis, Radjaa se retranche dans sa maison d’Abassane Alkabira. Il a pu récupérer son passeport le lendemain.  Il tentera à nouveau de franchir la frontière de Rafah pour rentrer en France mardi soir.
Recueilli par Audrey Destouches


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